The Impact of Distributing School Uniforms on Children’s Education in Kenya
This paper evaluates the impact of an educational intervention, in which a Kenyan non-governmental organization distributes school uniforms to children in poor communities. The NGO used a lottery to determine who would receive uniforms. Although compliance with the lottery was not perfect, we use winning the lottery as an instrumental variable to identify the impact of receiving a uniform.
The research finds that giving a school uniform significantly reduces school absenteeism by 38%. Effects are much larger for poorer students who did not previously own a uniform: a 64% reduction in school absenteeism. Preliminary data suggest positive impacts of uniform distribution on test scores in core subjects.