Estimating the Welfare Gains from Public Schools in Rural India


Type
Article
Change log
Authors
Bhattacharya, Debopam  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2870-7898
Kjelsrud, A 
Somanathan, R 
Abstract

We adapt recently developed econometric techniques to estimate the distribution of welfare gains from public schools in rural India. Individuals have preferences over school quality and income spent on other goods. In a situation where both private and pubic schools are available, we define the cash-equivalent value of the public school as the hypothetical income sacrifice that would equate an individual’s utility to his/her utility when only the private school was available. We apply this procedure to data on income, enrollment and school quality from the Indian Human Development Survey of 2012 and estimate the distribution of implicit transfers across states and income deciles. We find these transfers are progressive. Poor households receive more on average because they have higher fertility and because their children are more likely to attend state schools. We also find however that transfers are particularly small for some of the poorest states in central and eastern India because of their low public school quality. Our methods can be generalized to measure the distribution of benefits from other types of public goods and government services.

Description
Keywords
3801 Applied Economics, 3902 Education Policy, Sociology and Philosophy, 38 Economics, 39 Education, 44 Human Society, 4404 Development Studies, Basic Behavioral and Social Science, Rural Health, Behavioral and Social Science
Journal Title
Sankhya B
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
0976-8386
0976-8394
Volume Title
83
Publisher
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Rights
Publisher's own licence