Centre for Development Economics
Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics


What drives literacy in villages without schools? A study of Indian Villages


Sandhya Garg  

National Council for Applied Economic Research

Thursday, 7 November 2019 at 3:05 P.M

Venue: AMEX Room (Second Floor)

Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics

All are cordially invited

In India, the total public expenditure on education as ratio of GDP has increased gradually from 0.64 percent of GDP in 1951-52 to 4.13 percent in 2013-14. Subsequently, the access to primary schools has improved significantly as the number of villages with primary school has increased from 72% in 1991 to 79% in 2001 and further to 83% in 2011. Using geocoded data of all Indian villages and panel data of two census rounds of 2001 and 2011, we show that primary schools access of villages without schools has improved over time. We study that how the literacy rate of these villages (without school) is effected by the presence of primary schools in their neighborhood under the anticipation that people would be accessing neighboring schools. We find that the presence of schools in the nearer neighborhood has positive and significant impact on overall, male and female literacy of villages without schools. The impact is higher for female literacy. The road connectivity of the primary schools matters even more as the presence of villages with primary school and roads in the nearer neighborhood has higher impact on literacy in all categories. Schools in the distant neighborhood impact literacy only if there are connecting roads as well. This study has wider policy implications for those developing countries which have larger gap in access to primary schools and lower level of literacy rates. Our results indicate that one of the primary challenges faced by the government is to set up facilities that complement the access to schools, like roads.

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