12:00—2:15 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Private Schooling, Learning, and Civic Values in a Low-Income Country


  • Jishnu Das, Professor of Economics, Georgetown University


  • Justin Sandefur, Co-Director of Education Policy and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development


The rise of private schools implies that many children in low-income countries now live in villages and towns with substantial school choice. The success of any policy—from vouchers to school consolidation—will therefore depend on what this school choice entails and how education markets function. Using rich panel data over 8-year period, Das and co-authors Tahir Andrabi (Pomona College), Natalie Bau (UCLA), and Asim Khwaja (Harvard) provide the first causal estimates of school value added for 820 schools across 112 villages in rural Pakistan. Using these value-added estimates, they show that:

  1. There is wide variance in school quality, even within villages, and significant overlap in the public and private school distributions of quality.
  2. On average, private schools causally increase test scores relative to public schools.
  3. Private schools with higher value added are more likely to survive and grow, while no such relationship holds for public schools.

Please join us for a lively and engaging discussion with Jishnu Das.

If you have questions for our speaker, please submit them to [email protected], or tweet @CGDev #CGDTalks.

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