Journal Article

Public and Private Provision of Education in Kenya

Tessa Bold, Mwangi S. Kimenyi and Justin Sandefur

in Journal of African Economies

Volume 22, issue suppl_2, pages ii39-ii56
Published in print August 2013 | ISSN: 0963-8024
Published online August 2013 | e-ISSN: 1464-3723 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jae/ejt014
Public and Private Provision of Education in Kenya

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  • Economywide Country Studies
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  • Economic Development

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Over the past decade, Kenya's traditional model of local, community finance and management of schools has been crowded out from two directions. First, the Kenyan government has expanded its role in public education, through free provision of primary and, more recently, secondary education. Second, the market for private, fee-charging schools has grown rapidly, particularly at the primary level. We examine whether the abolition of fees presented a trade-off between quantity and quality in primary schools, comparing Kenya's experience with others in the region. We examine the superior performance of private primary schools and elite, public secondary schools in examinations and summarise research testing whether this performance reflects causal returns to these school types. Finally, we explore the potential implications of expanding public finance for private schooling or incorporating organisational structures from the private sector into public schools, making particular note of possible general equilibrium effects and political economy constraints to doing so.

Keywords: H42; I25; L33; O15; O55

Journal Article.  6756 words. 

Subjects: Economywide Country Studies ; Publicly Provided Goods ; Education and Research Institutions ; Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise ; Economic Development

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