Can Eliminating School Fees in Poor Districts Boost Enrollment?

Evan Borkum
The charging of school user fees is a much-debated policy issue in developing countries. In this paper, I evaluate the impact of a South African fee elimination program that was targeted at the poorest two quintiles of schools based on a community poverty score. Fixed effects estimates find that the program increased enrollment by almost 2% in treated secondary schools, an increase concentrated in earlier secondary grades. There is substantial heterogeneity in the estimated secondary...
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