Journal articles published externally

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These are journal articles by World Bank authors published externally.

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  • Publication
    Peaceful Coexistence? The Role of Religious Schools and NGOs in the Growth of Female Secondary Schooling in Bangladesh
    (Taylor and Francis, 2013-02-04) Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz; Chaudhury, Nazmul
    Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), runs a large number of non-formal primary schools in Bangladesh which target out-of-school children from poor families. These schools are well-known for their effectiveness in closing the gender gap in primary school enrolment. On the other hand, registered non-government secondary madrasas (or Islamic schools) today enrol one girl against every boy student. In this article, we document a positive spillover effect of BRAC schools on female secondary enrolment in registered madrasas. Drawing upon school enrolment data aggregated at the region level, we first show that regions that had more registered madrasas experienced greater secondary female enrolment growth during 1999–2003, holding the number of secular secondary schools constant. In this context we test the impact of BRAC-run primary schools on female enrolment in registered madrasas. We deal with the potential endogeneity of placement of BRAC schools using an instrumental variable approach. Controlling for factors such as local-level poverty, road access and distance from major cities, we show that regions with a greater presence of BRAC schools have higher female enrolment growth in secondary madrasas. The effect is much bigger when compared to that on secondary schools.
  • Publication
    Religious Schools, Social Values, and Economic Attitudes: Evidence from Bangladesh
    (2010) Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz; Chaudhury, Nazmul
    This paper uses new data on female graduates of registered secondary secular schools and madrasas from rural Bangladesh and tests whether there exist attitudinal gaps by school type and what teacher-specific factors explain these gaps. Even after controlling for a rich set of individual, family, and school traits, we find that madrasa graduates differ on attitudes associated with issues such as working mothers, desired fertility, and higher education for girls, when compared to their secular schooled peers. On the other hand, madrasa education is associated with attitudes that are still conducive to democracy. We also find that exposure to female and younger teacher is associated with more favorable attitudes among graduates.
  • Publication
    Reverse Gender Gap in Schooling in Bangladesh: Insights from Urban and Rural Households
    (2009) Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz; Chaudhury, Nazmul
    This paper documents a reverse gender gap in secondary schooling outcomes in Bangladesh drawing upon several rounds of nationally representative household survey data. In terms of enrolment status and years of schooling completed, boys are found to lag behind girls in the rural as well as in the urban area. Within the urban sample, the gender gap is widest in the non-metropolitan area. These findings are robust to extensive control for demand and supply-side determinants of schooling and remain unchanged even when we use a within household estimator. We consider one hypothesis, namely gender-differentiated response to a conditional cash transfer program to reconcile the findings of this reverse gender gap.
  • Publication
    Holy Alliances : Public Subsidies, Islamic High Schools, and Female Schooling in Bangladesh
    (2009) Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz; Chaudhury, Nazmul
    This paper documents the experience of incentive-based reforms in the secondary Islamic/madrasa education sector in Bangladesh within the context of the broader debate over modernization of religious school systems in South Asia. Key features of the reform are changes of the curriculum and policy regarding admission of female students. In return to formal registration and curriculum modernization, madrasas receive financial aid from the government towards teacher salary. Using a cross-sectional census data-set (containing current and retrospective information) on formal secondary schools and madrasas, we first point out that a significant fraction of the existing post-primary registered madrasas today comprises of 'converts'; that is, formerly all-male, unregistered religious schools that previously offered traditional, religious education. Furthermore, these madrasas have embraced female students in recent years following the introduction of yet another incentive scheme, namely a conditional cash transfer scheme for secondary girls. Drawing upon school enrolment data aggregated at the region level, we show that regions that had more (modernized) madrasas were more likely to achieve gender parity in secondary enrolment during 1999-2003, holding the number of secular secondary schools constant. This finding highlights the previously undocumented role played by religious schools in removing gender disparity in rural Bangladesh.