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The Impact of Secondary Schooling in Kenya: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis

Owen Ozier
Development Research Group
The World Bank

Michael Clemens
Senior Fellow
Center for Global Development

How does secondary schooling impact young adults in Kenya? In his new paper, Owen Ozier estimates the effects of secondary schooling on human capital, occupational choice, and fertility for young adults in Kenya. Using a regression discontinuity framework, he finds that the probability of admission to government secondary school rises sharply at a score close to the national mean on a standardized 8th grade examination. He combines administrative test score data with a recent survey of young adults to estimate these effects.

His results show that secondary schooling has an impact on all three areas mentioned. Secondary schooling increases human capital, as measured by performance on cognitive tests included in the survey. He also finds a drop in the probability of low-skill self-employment as well as suggestive evidence of a rise in the probability of formal employment for men, and a reduced rate of teen pregnancy among women.

*Following the move to our new home, CGD has renamed the Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminar series the CGD Invited Research Forum. Now in its thirteenth year, the series brings some of the world's leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations meet an academic standard of quality and are at times technical, but retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policymakers. For more on the history of the series, check out this blog by Michael Clemens.


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