Of great importance to policy makers is to know if females and poor households benefit more or less than the males or rich households from an expansion in access to public education. This is marginal benefit incidence of public spending which is rarely determined. In this paper, we determine the extent to which an expansion in public education is effective in reducing gender gaps in enrollments and thus, poverty in Cameroon. Government subsidies directed towards higher education are poorly targeted and the poorest income groups receive less than the richest income groups and indeed favor those who are better off. Similarly, gender disparity in access to public schools is higher at the tertiary level and lowest at primary level. Further, contrary to earlier studies which found that primary education expansion mostly benefits the poor, the present paper found that increased subsidy to primary and secondary education is captured by the middle income groups and as such cannot be good as a program that can be directed (explicitly) at fighting poverty. The difference may come from the fact that their enrollment estimates lump together private and public schools enrollments. It is difficult to think of a policy at which private operators will want to expand on their schooling projects.

Note on the Author

Tabi Atemnkeng Johannes and Armand Gilbert Noula are both Senior Lecturers of the Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Dschang, Cameroon.