Does Inequality in Landownership Contribute To Inequality in Education Attainment? Empirical Evidence From Kenya

John Kamau Gathiaka


An inverse relationship is found across countries between unequal landownership and education attainment. Since Kenya exhibits inequalities in landownership and education attainment across and within counties, households and gender, is there any relationship between the observed inequalities? Using data from the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey and the Kenya Population and Housing Census, the study applies fractional IV and IV-Two Stage Least Squares (2SLS) regression methods to examine whether the Gini of landownership influences the Gini of education attainment across counties, and the determinants of education attainment in Kenya. The evidence generated does not support the strong relationship between landownership inequality and inequality in education previously documented. Government financing of free education, coupled with bursaries, muffle the relationship. Inequality in education attainment across counties is likely due to county disparities in household size, income, urbanization rate, and participation in highlevel public employment. An increase in average per capita household expenditure, or urban population, also reduce the probability of inequality in primary as well as secondary education attainment in a county. Government financing of education and policies that promote urbanization, enhance quality of families, and increase highlevel participation in government reduce any effect that landownership inequality could have on education attainment.

Keywords: landownership, education attainment, inequality, county, household.

JEL Classification: I24; C21; C26; D13; Q15; R20.

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