Inequality of Opportunity in Education: Accounting for the Contributions of Sibs, Schools and Sorting Across East Africa

61 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2019

See all articles by Paul Anand

Paul Anand

The Open University - Department of Economics; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS); IZA; University of Oxford

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania

Hai-Anh Dang

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA); Global Labor Organization (GLO); Vietnam National University Ha Noi; Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) - Centre for Analysis and Forecasting

Sam Jones

United Nations - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER)

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Abstract

Inequalities in the opportunity to obtain a good education in low-income countries are widely understood to be related to household resources and schooling quality. Yet, to date, most researchers have investigated the contributions of these two factors separately. This paper considers them jointly, paying special attention to their covariation, which indicates whether schools exacerbate or compensate for existing household-based inequalities. The paper develops a new variance decomposition framework and applies it to data on more than one million children in three low-income East African countries.The empirical results show that although household factors account for a significant share of total test score variation, variation in school quality and positive sorting between households and schools are, together, no less important. The analysis also finds evidence of substantial geographical heterogeneity in schooling quality. The paper concludes that promoting equity in education in East Africa requires policies that go beyond raising average school quality and should attend to the distribution of school quality as well as assortative matching between households and schools.

Keywords: inequality of opportunity, education achievement, decomposition, household, school, sorting, Africa

JEL Classification: D6, H0, I2, O1

Suggested Citation

Anand, Paul and Behrman, Jere and Dang, Hai-Anh H. and Jones, Sam, Inequality of Opportunity in Education: Accounting for the Contributions of Sibs, Schools and Sorting Across East Africa. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12070, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3323185

Paul Anand (Contact Author)

The Open University - Department of Economics ( email )

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London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS) ( email )

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IZA ( email )

University of Oxford ( email )

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Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania

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Hai-Anh H. Dang

World Bank - Development Data Group (DECDG) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

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Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

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Vietnam National University Ha Noi ( email )

Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) - Centre for Analysis and Forecasting ( email )

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Vietnam

Sam Jones

United Nations - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) ( email )

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Finland

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