AMU - AMSE
5-9 boulevard Maurice Bourdet
Following the widespread adoption of free primary education, African policymakers are now considering making secondary school free. We exploit randomized assignment to secondary school scholarships among 2,064 youths in Ghana, combined with 11 years of follow-up data, to establish that scholarships increase educational attainment (at the secondary and the tertiary levels), knowledge, skills, and preventative health behaviors, while reducing fertility, especially for women. Ten years after receipt of the scholarship, winners show private labor market gains, primarily in the form of better access to jobs with rents. We develop a simple model to interpret the labor market results and think through the welfare impact of free secondary education, and the extent to which it depends on the presence of credit constraints, biased beliefs, imperfect altruism and the characteristics of public sector employment.