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Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School

This paper reports on a project designed to provide experimental evidence on several questions regarding resource allocation in primary education: the impact of pupil-teacher ratios, tracking, and the institutional environment (teacher contracts and beneficiary control). The project involved 210 primary schools in Western Kenya. We find that in this context, reducing the pupil-teacher ratio (from 80 to 46 on average), in the absence of any other reform, lead to reduced teacher effort, and to small and insignificant increases in test scores. In contrast, combining class size reduction with improved incentives (either by hiring local teachers on short term contract or by increasing parental oversight) leads to significantly larger test score increases. Finally, combining class size reduction with tracking by initial achievement leads to large test score increases, regardless of a child’s initial achievement, suggesting that students benefits from homogenous classes. In contrast, we find no evidence that test scores are affected by the average pretest score of their peers.

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Uploaded on: Nov 25, 2015
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2015
Year Published: 2010


Resource Tags

Resource Type: Impact Evidence Issues: Education, Governance, Accountability & Transparency Tool Type: Journal Articles & Books Method: Improving Governance, Accountability and Transparency, Promoting Citizens' Participation in Governance Languages: English Regions: Sub-Saharan Africa Nature of Impact: Acquisition of Remedy / Entitlement / Information, Change in institutional / government practice, Impact on Education Scale of Intervention/Impact: 1,000 to 10,000 people Institutions Engaged: Media, NGOs, Private Sector Firms, Service Delivery Agencies Evaluation Method: Randomized Control Trials