Primary school enrollment has risen in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past two decades, but secondary school enrollment rates remain relatively low. This paper evaluates the effect of secondary school scholarships on educational attainment and cognitive skills in the short run, and on life outcomes in the medium run (after 9 years). Results show that cost is an important barrier to secondary school enrollment among middle school graduates. Full scholarships increase young people’s educational attainment, knowledge, skills, and preventative health behaviors. For women, secondary schooling also delayed marriage and pregnancy. Labor market impacts are highly heterogeneous across groups and over time.
The Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) launched its lecture series in April 2005 to bring distinguished academics to the Bank to present and discuss new knowledge on development. The purpose of the Lecture Series is to introduce ideas on cutting edge research, challenge and contribute to the Bank's intellectual climate, and reexamine current development theories and practices. The Lectures revisit issues of long-standing concern and explore emerging issues that promise to be central to future development discourse. The Lecture Series reflects DEC’s commitment to intellectual leadership and openness in embracing future challenges to reduce poverty.