Department of Economics

The Determinants and Consequence of School Choice Errors in Kenya

Department of Economics
University of Delaware
Working Paper #2012-05

The Determinants and Consequence of School Choice Errors in Kenya

Adrienne M. Lucas and Isaac M. Mbiti


The benefits of school choice systems designed to help disadvantaged groups might be hindered by information
asymmetries. Kenyan elite secondary schools admit students from the entire country based on a national test score,
district quotas, and stated school choices. We find even the highest ability students make school choice errors. Girls,
students with lower test scores, and students from public and low quality primary schools are more likely to make
such errors. Net of observable demographic characteristics, these errors are associated with a decrease in the
probability that students are admitted to elite secondary schools, relegating them to schools of lower quality.

JEL Codes: I21, I25, O15

Keywords: school choice, education, secondary schooling, Kenya

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