Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



This Population Council working paper assesses the effects of primary school characteristics, household characteristics, and recent household economic and demographic shocks on school dropout rates during the first eight grades in rural Punjab and North West Frontier Province, Pakistan. While grade retention has improved over the past six years, dropout rates for girls remain fairly high, particularly at the end of primary school (grade five). The results of this study show clearly the complementary nature of supply and demand factors in determining grade progression in rural Pakistan, particularly for girls. The results suggest that substantial improvement in the schooling environment in rural Pakistan is required if universal primary completion is to be achieved. These improvements alone, however, will not ensure success as long as households remain poor and continue to face substantial economic and demographic risks.