This article examines whether disadvantaged children learn less than advantaged children when both types of children are enrolled in the same school. This is done by estimating education production functions that contain two school fixed effects for each school, one for advantaged children and one for disadvantaged children.
The article examines 6 different definitions of advantage based on household wealth, cognitive skills at age 5, gender, ethnicity (Peru only), maternal education, and nutritional status. The results show no sign that schools are less effective for disadvantaged groups in Vietnam; indeed, if anything one traditionally advantaged group, males, seems to do worse in school than the corresponding disadvantaged group, females. In contrast, in Peru ethnic minority students and students who enter primary school with low cognitive skills appear to learn less in school than ethnic majority students and students with relatively high cognitive skills, respectively, who are enrolled in the same school.
Young Lives is an international study of childhood poverty, following the lives of 12,000 children in 4 countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam) over 15 years. Young Lives is funded by the UK Department for International Development.
Paul Glewwe, Sofya Krutikova, and Caine Rolleston. Do Schools Reinforce or Reduce Learning Gaps between Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students? Evidence from Vietnam and Peru. Economic Development and Cultural Change 65, no. 4 (July 2017): 699-739
Do Schools Reinforce or Reduce Learning Gaps between Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students? Evidence from Vietnam and Peru