Primary education expansion and quality of schooling

Christine Valente*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
171 Downloads (Pure)


The rapid increases in enrollment seen in many developing countries might further worsen the poor schooling quality found in these countries. I estimate the effect of enrollment growth following the removal of primary school fees in Tanzania and find evidence of a sizeable increase in pupil-teacher ratios and a reduction in observable teacher quality, but rule out a substantial effect on test scores overall. These results are robust to instrumenting enrollment growth using predetermined fertility and migration decisions, and to a number of checks including the use of baseline enrollment rates as an alternative source of variation in enrollment growth. However, when investigating the possibility of heterogeneous effects for urban and rural areas, I find evidence of a deterioration of test scores in urban areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101913
Number of pages17
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Early online date20 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Structured keywords

  • ECON Applied Economics
  • ECON CEPS Education


  • Universal primary education
  • Pupil-Teacher ratio
  • Test scores
  • Tanzania


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