Subsidy to Promote Girls’ Secondary Education: The Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh

Shahidur Khandker, World Bank Group
Mark Pitt, Brown University
Nobu Fuwa, Chiba University

Bangladesh's female secondary school stipend program, introduced in the mid-1990's, provides full tuition and a stipend to rural girls enrolled in secondary education. This paper estimates the impact of this program on school enrollments using both school- and household-level survey data. We rely on variation in the timing of program introduction across districts to identify its effects. Community fixed-effects methods applied to panel data on households are used to sweep out unobserved community-level heterogeneity. Results suggest that the female stipend program increased girls’ secondary education substantially. The results are strengthened by confirmatory results from an analysis of school-level information.. Although both data sets used in the analysis of the FSSAP have their deficiencies, they both strongly suggest that this program has clearly benefitted girls’ school enrollment, perhaps at the cost of boys.

Presented in Session 125: Inequality and Education in Developing Countries