The Impact of Building Toilets On School Enrollment: Down The Drain?
There are over 59 million children who are out of school at primary level and policy makers are trying to find ways to achieve universal primary enrollment. This paper tests the hypothesis that investment in school infrastructure, through building toilets, can lead to an increase in enrollment. In recent years, multiple papers and reports have been published that recommend building toilets as a way to increase enrollment. Most of these recommendations are based on a single source, Adukia (2014). This paper builds on the analysis of Adukia (2014) that showed toilet construction led to an increase in enrollment during a national school-latrine construction initiative in India. Using annual census data of government schools in Punjab, Pakistan, I estimate that the impact of building toilets is negligible once you control for other variables (new classrooms, teachers) that were ignored by Adukia (2014).
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