Why Did Abolishing Fees Not Increase Public School Enrollment in Kenya?

28 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2011

See all articles by Tessa Bold

Tessa Bold

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES)

Mwangi Kimenyi

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics

Germano Mwabu

University of Nairobi - Department of Economics

Justin Sandefur

Center for Global Development

Date Written: October 31, 2011

Abstract

A large empirical literature has shown that user fees significantly deter public service utilization in developing countries. While most of these results reflect partial equilibrium analysis, we find that the nationwide abolition of public school fees in Kenya in 2003 led to no increase in net public enrollment rates, but rather a dramatic shift toward private schooling. Results suggest this divergence between partial- and general-equilibrium effects is partially explained by social interactions: the entry of poorer pupils into free education contributed to the exit of their more affluent peers.

Keywords: Kenya, public school enrollment, education

JEL Classification: I2

Suggested Citation

Bold, Tessa and Kimenyi, Mwangi and Mwabu, Germano and Sandefur, Justin, Why Did Abolishing Fees Not Increase Public School Enrollment in Kenya? (October 31, 2011). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 271, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1972336 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1972336

Tessa Bold (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden

Mwangi Kimenyi

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1063
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Germano Mwabu

University of Nairobi - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 30197
Nairobi
Kenya
2542226451 (Phone)

Justin Sandefur

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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