Decomposing learning inequalities in East Africa
How much does sorting matter?
Inequalities in learning opportunities arise from both household- and school-related factors. Although these factors are unlikely to be independent, few studies have considered the extent to which sorting between schools and households might aggravate educational inequalities.
To fill this gap, this article presents a novel variance decomposition, which is then applied to data from over one million children from East Africa. Results indicate that sorting accounts for around 8 per cent of the test-score variance, similar in magnitude to the contribution of differences in school quality.
Empirical simulations of steady-state educational inequalities reveal that policies to mitigate sorting could substantially reduce educational inequalities over the long run.