Abstract

This paper evaluates the effectiveness of a large-scale government initiative (NPEGEL/KGBV) that provided earmarked funds for addressing girls’special needs to public schools in rural India. Our empirical strategy exploits local variation in program eligibility around a threshold based on the female literacy rate at the community level. The main result is that the program led to an enrollment gain of about 6-7 percentage points for girls in upper primary school. Evidence of an enrollment gain for boys is tentative. Available evidence on mechanisms suggests that the program improved girl-friendly school infrastructure and services, as well as gender-neutral school resources.