Decentralizing education resources: school grants in Senegal

By: Pedro Carneiro (Institute for Fiscal Studies and cemmap and UCL) ; Oswald Koussihouèdé (Institute for Fiscal Studies) ; Nathalie Lahire (Institute for Fiscal Studies) ; Costas Meghir (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University) ; Corina Mommaerts (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

The impact of school resources on the quality of education in developing countries may depend crucially on whether resources are targeted efficiently. In this paper we use a randomized experiment to analyze the impact of a school grants program in Senegal, which decentralized a portion of the country’s education budget. We find large positive effects on test scores at younger grades that persist at least two years. We show that these effects are concentrated among schools that focused funds on human resources improvements rather than school materials, suggesting that teachers and principals may be a central determinant of school quality.

Keywords: Quality of education; Decentralization; School resources; Child Development; Clustered Randomized Control Trials

JEL: H52 I22 I25 O15


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