The Medium-Term Impacts of Girl-Friendly Schools: Seven-Year Evidence from School Construction in Burkina Faso
We evaluate the long-term effect of a “girl-friendly” primary school program in Burkina Faso, using a regression discontinuity design. The intervention consisted of upgrading existing three-classroom schools to six-classroom schools to accommodate more grades. After seven years, the program increased enrollment by 15.5 percentage points and increased test scores by 0.29 standard deviations. Students in treatment schools progress further through the grades, compared to students in non-selected schools. These upgraded schools are effective at getting children into school, getting children to start school on time, and keeping children in school longer. Overall, we find that the schools sustain the large impacts observed about three years earlier, with enrollment declining slightly from 18.5 to 14.9 for the cohorts of children who were exposed to both the first and second phases of the intervention.
This paper is based on an evaluation of the second phase of the Burkina Faso’s BRIGHT program funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government agency. We are grateful to several officials at MCC, for their help throughout the project. We are also grateful to the staff of MCA-Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou and to the officials from the Ministry of Education. We would like to thank Mikal Davis, Caroline Lauver, Isabel Krakoff and Cara Orfield for excellent research assistance. Finally, we would also like to thank seminar participants at APPAM, at MCA-Burkina, at MCC, at IFPRI and at the World Bank. Harounan Kazianga acknowledges the support of the Carson Priority Professorship. This research was also supported by grant P2CHD042849 Population Research Center, awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.