Does more schooling imply improved learning? Evidence from the Kanyashree Prakalpa in India

Auteur(s) : Das, Upasak; Sarkhel, Prasenjit

Date: 2023

Pages: p. 1-15

Serie: Economics of Education Review

Series Volume: 94 (2023) 102406


Studies on Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs have documented positive effects on school enrollment though evidence on learning outcomes is mixed. Using representative data, we evaluate one of the largest CCT programs, Kanyashree Prakalpa (KP), which was implemented in the state of West Bengal, India, in 2013. In particular, we examine the effect on female school enrollment and learning outcomes. Exploiting the timing of the program implementation for identification and applying difference-in-difference regressions, we document a positive effect on enrollment with no discernible impact on secondary and higher secondary school completion. We also observe significant improvements in lower-level learning outcomes but a marked deterioration in higher-level skills like solving simple division problems. Complementary investments like classroom availability and teacher attendance appear to have fallen after the implementation of KP, which explains the decline in learning skills despite higher schooling exposure, thereby underscoring the need for supply-side interventions in school amenities.

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