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Household schooling behaviors and decentralization


Economics of Education Review Volume 20, Number 4 ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Educational policies and household behaviors interact to determine educational outcomes. Much educational literature, including that on decentralization, focuses almost exclusively on school resources and ignores substantial household resources devoted to schooling. The failure to consider how households change resource allocations may lead to important misunderstandings of decentralization effects. A simple framework is presented for: (i) how households determine schooling investments through choice and voice; and (ii) what are the implications of decentralization on household behaviors given information problems. Some aspects of decentralization may increase efficiency; others are neutral or reduce efficiency. For both efficiency and distributional reasons, there may be tradeoffs regarding impacts of decentralization. These considerations mean that there are no simple summary conclusions. Instead good analysis must be sensitive to particular aspects of decentralization being evaluated and implications for efficiency and distribution within particular contexts. Systematic empirical studies of household responses to decentralization are high priority for educational research.


Behrman, J.R. & King, E.M. Household schooling behaviors and decentralization. Economics of Education Review, 20(4), 321-341. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved April 22, 2021 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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