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Choice and Household Decisions

Choice and Household Decisions

Bhatti, F., Malik, R. and Naveed, A. (2011).Insights from a Quantitative Survey in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, RECOUP Working Paper, 39.Mahbub-ul-Haq Human Development Centre.
The objective of this RECOUP report is to present the descriptive statistics emerging out of the quantitative household data collected in Punjab and KP on various indicators that include poverty and inequality; access to and quality of education acquired in terms of literacy and numeracy skills; employment and skills acquisition. The report also presents the inter-regional (both rural-urban and inter-provincial) and gender related gaps in all these indicators. The linkage between these indicators is also explored via cross-tabulations. The survey is unique since it collects important information at the level of communities. This includes information on the patterns of land ownership and access to basic public facilities, etc. It investigates the ways in which aspects of the structure and characteristics of school systems can improve the cognitive, attitudinal and behavioural outcomes in pro-poor ways. Moreover, while correlations and links between education and various outcomes are well-known and acknowledged, this research focuses on identifying specific pathways that lead to improved social and economic outcomes. Thus, the ultimate objective is to guide policy in the right direction so as to maximise its impact on pro-poor educational outcomes.

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Andrabi, T., Das, J., Khwaja, A. I., &Zajonc, T. (2006). Religious school enrollment in Pakistan: A look at the data. Comparative Education Review, 50(3), 446-477.

This paper uses established data sources as well as data collected by the authors for a broader study on education enrollment in Pakistan to examine the size and importance of the religious education sector in Pakistan. The madrassa sector is small compared to educational options such as public and private schooling. Furthermore, the authors find no evidence of a dramatic increase in madrassa enrollment in recent years. Their data negates the prevailing hypothesis that households do not have other schooling options and thus, send their children to religious schools, or that households are religiously minded and thus, choose madrassas over private and public schools. The numbers suggest that the schooling decision for an average Pakistani household in a rural region consists of an enrollment decision, followed by a private/public decision, with a madrassas possibility. When there are no nearby schools, households exit from the educational system altogether, although there is evidence of an increase in the market share of madrassas among the poor in these settlements. While the data used by the authors is not extensive enough to answer the important question of what explains enrollment in madrassas either, it does provide suggestive evidence for the various hypotheses forwarded in the literature on factors that may lead to enrollment in a madrassa.

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