Desai, Sonalde, Amaresh Dubey, Reeve Vanneman, and Rukini Banerji. 2007. “Private Schooling in India: A New Educational Landscape.” Presented at the India Policy Forum, organised by the National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi.
Private schooling in India has expanded rapidly in the past decade. However, few studies have looked at its implications for educational quality. Using data from the recently collected India Human Development Survey, this paper seeks to provide a description of private schooling in India and examine the effects of private school enrollment on educational quality. The results suggest that controlling for the endogeneity of school choice, children in private schools have higher reading and arithmetic skills than those in government schools. While overall gains are modest in size, about one fourth to one third of a standard deviation, the gains for students from lower economic strata are higher than those for upper income students. The paper explores this relationship by examining the treatment of students from different economic strata in government and private schools and finds that while students from lower economic strata are more likely to be physically punished in government schools than their better off peers, the relationship between parental economic status and physical punishment is negligible in private schools.