Demand rationalities in contexts of poverty: Do the Poor respond to market incentives in the same way?

Bonal, X. and Zancajo, A. (2018) Demand rationalities in contexts of poverty: Do the Poor respond to market incentives in the same way? International Journal of Educational Development, 59, pp. 20-27. (doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2017.10.001)

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Over the last decades, we have witnessed the centrality of demand-side education policies intended to improve access and conditions of schooling for the poor. Among these policies, voucher systems have played a prominent role as a mechanism to enhance choice and competition. Actors advocating for and boosting such policies, such as the World Bank, national governments or private corporations, share a common understanding of the ways in which poor people respond to specific market and policy incentives. This article develops a critique of the assumed instrumental rationality of mainstream policies and programmes that focus on market and policy incentives to influence the educational demands of the poor. In the first part, the article describes the main characteristics of demand-side financing of education policies and provides an interpretation of the instrumental rationality embedded in the theory of change of these policies. In the second part of the article, alternative frameworks to interpret the responses of the poor to market and policy incentives are presented and discussed. The final section of the paper reflects on the significant policy implications of this discussion for global education reforms.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Zancajo, Dr Adrian
Authors: Bonal, X., and Zancajo, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Robert Owen Centre
Journal Name:International Journal of Educational Development
ISSN (Online):1873-4871
Published Online:18 January 2018

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