Can Free Provision Reduce Demand for Public Services? Evidence from Kenyan Education

46 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

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: November 1, 2013

Abstract

In 2003 Kenya abolished user fees in all government primary schools. Analysis of household survey data shows this policy contributed to a shift in demand away from free schools, where net enrollment stagnated after 2003, toward fee-charging private schools, where both enrollment and fee levels grew rapidly after 2003. These shifts had mixed distributional consequences. Enrollment by poorer households increased, but segregation between socio-economic groups also increased. The shift in demand toward private schooling was driven by more affluent households who (i) paid higher ex ante fees and thus experienced a larger reduction in school funding, and (ii) appear to have exited public schools partially in reaction to increased enrollment by poorer children.

Keywords: Primary Education, Education For All, Teaching and Learning, Tertiary Education, Secondary Education

Suggested Citation

Bold, Tessa and Kimenyi, Mwangi and Mwabu, Germano and Sandefur, Justin, Can Free Provision Reduce Demand for Public Services? Evidence from Kenyan Education (November 1, 2013). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6685, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2348949

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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