School Infrastructure and Educational Outcomes: A Literature Review, with Special Reference to Latin America


International development agencies and country governments have called for greater resources to be devoted to education. While previous studies highlight the value of investing in education, they do not shed light on which specific educational investments should be pursued. This paper examines both the economics literature and the education literature published from 1990 to 2012 to assess the extent to which specific types of school infrastructure have a causal impact on student learning and enrollment. There is some evidence that school libraries and the creation of new schools leads to improved learning and enrollment. The literature also provides some evidence that toilets improve student learning, and that laboratories and drinking water facilities increase enrollment. Perhaps the main conclusion of this study is that the evidence base is weak, so more high-quality research is needed on the impact of infrastructure on learning and time in school in developing countries.