Education and inequality: Implications of the World Bank's Education Strategy 2020

Devin Joshi, William Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter analyzes the World Bank's Education Strategy 2020 (WBES) to assess its likely impact on inequality. The chapter begins with a review of assessments of the Bank's past education policies. It then compares four different theoretical perspectives on education policy: social class equalization, public goods, human capital, and neoliberalism. Applying quantitative and qualitative content analysis to the WBES, we identify the World Bank's approach as promoting a neo-liberal capitalist development ideology emphasizing private sector schooling and nonformal education along with standardized testing. Our analysis predicts that this strategy will not lead to major increases in educational equality in the developing world, and may even increase inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation Strategy in the Developing World
Subtitle of host publicationRevising the World Bank's Education Policy
EditorsChristopher Collins, Alexander Wiseman
PublisherEmerald Publishing
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781780522777
ISBN (Print)9781780522760
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives on Education and Society
ISSN (Print)1479-3679


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