Land Ownership Inequality and Inequality in Education Attainment in Kenya

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Gathiaka, John Kamau
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African Economic Research Consortium
Unequal asset ownership accompanies other socioeconomic inequalities so that the disparity in physical possessions, particularly land, is worth a rigorous analysis. The case in point is the inverse relationship that has been reported across countries between unequal landownership and education attainment. In Kenya, inequalities in landownership vary across and within counties, households included. Using data from the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey and the Kenya Population and Housing Census, the study applies a fractional IV probit regression model to examine the relationship between the Gini of land ownership and education inequality across counties in Kenya. The evidence generated does not confirm the strong relationship between land inequality and inequality in education previously documented in other countries. Inequality in primary education attainment across counties is likely due to county disparities in household size, income, urbanization rate, and participation in high level public employment, rather than to a landownership disparity. A 1% increase in county average per capita household expenditure reduces the Gini of inequality in primary education attainment by 0.1011. A one percentage increase in urban population reduces the inequality in primary education attainment by 0.16%. A similar pattern is generally uncovered for secondary education. Land inequality does not influence inequalities in education attainment. Government financing of education through bursaries and free education muffle any such influence. The findings suggest that government financing of education and policies that promote urbanization, enhance quality of families and increase high level participation in government affairs lower inequalities in schooling. Further, an affirmative action on education for Muslims is required to reduce inequalities in schooling.
Land ownership , Education attainment , Inequality , Kenya.