Human Development

Public versus Private College Education in Developing Countries: Economic ans Social Implications in India

  • Blog Post Date 01 April, 2012
  • IGC Research on India
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Sheetal Sekhri

University of Virginia

Tertiary education has fuelled the economic growth in India in recent times. This has in turn generated excess demand for a highly educated and skilled workforce. Against this backdrop, it is vital to understand whether public institutions should be expanded or private institutions could provide good quality higher education so that public subsidies could be targeted towards merit-cum-need based scholarships. In India, public colleges are considered very prestigious and the average scores of the graduates in college exit tests and earnings in labour markets are higher than the private counterparts suggesting that public institutions provide higher quality education. This study provides evidence that graduates of elite public institutions in India have an earnings advantage in the labour market even though attending these colleges has no discernible effect on learning outcomes.

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