Value Subtraction in Public Sector Production: Accounting Versus Economic Cost of Primary Schooling in India

Center for Global Development 2014

This paper combines newly created data on per student government expenditure in government elementary schools across India, data on per student expenditure by household on students attending private elementary schools, and the ASER measure of learning achievement of students in rural areas. These three sources allow the authors to compare both the “accounting cost” difference of public and private schools and the “economic cost”—what it would take for public schools, at their existing efficacy in producing learning, to achieve the learning results of the private sector.

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