Common Tongue: The Impact of Language on Educational Outcomes
76 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2011 Last revised: 2 Dec 2016
Date Written: November 30, 2016
This paper investigates the impact of official language policies on education using state formation in India. Colonial provinces consisted of some districts where the official language matched the district's language and some where it did not. Linguistically mismatched districts have 18.0% lower literacy rates and 20.1% lower college graduation rates, driven by difficulty in acquiring education due to a different medium of instruction in schools. Educational achievement caught up in mismatched districts after the 1956 reorganization of Indian states on linguistic lines, suggesting that political reorganization can mitigate the impact of mismatched language policies.
Keywords: Language, Medium of instruction, Education, Political reorganization
JEL Classification: I20, N95, O15, O43
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation