Journal Article

The effect of gender differences in primary school access, type, and quality on the decision to enroll in rural Pakistan

The article explores the effect of primary school access, type (public vs. private), and quality on parents’ decision to enroll their children in rural Pakistan using a 1997 survey. The authors find that, for girls, living in a village with an all-girls’ public school makes a significant difference in the likelihood of enrollment. The quality of the girls’ school is also a significant factor influencing parents’ decision to enroll their girls. Boys’ overall levels of enrollment are unaffected by access and quality; parents, however, are more likely to select private schooling for their boys and girls when a private school is locally available. In contrast to earlier findings for urban Pakistan, we do not find that a greater availability of private school alternatives would significantly increase overall primary school enrollment; instead, it would primarily affect the distribution of enrollment between the private and public sector.