Returns to Private and Public Education in Bangladesh and Pakistan: A Comparative Analysis

Date: May, 2008
ODID Working Paper No. 167
Author(s): Mohammad Niaz Asadullah

This paper documents wage differentials between private and public school graduates in Bangladesh and Pakistan. While evidence in support of a wage advantage of private school graduates in Bangladesh is lacking, Pakistani private school graduates are found to earn more than their public school counterparts. This finding has important implications for the current debate over the effectiveness of private schools in South Asia. To the extent the wage premium arises owing to education in private schools, our result suggests relative superiority of private schools in Pakistan and are consistent with extant studies that have assessed private school quality using test-scores of students. The difference in the performance of private schools in the two countries, however, remains a puzzle. This difference, we conjecture, may be partly explained by the between-country differences in public policy towards private schools and, therefore, the regulatory regime facing these schools.

ODID Author(s)