South Asia Human Development Unit
The World Bank
Institutional Affiliation: The World Bank
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2013||Contract Teachers: Experimental Evidence from India|
with Karthik Muralidharan: w19440
The large-scale expansion of primary schooling in developing countries has led to the increasing use of non-civil-service contract teachers who are hired locally by the school, are not professionally trained, have fixed-term renewable contracts, and are paid much lower salaries than regular civil-service teachers. This has been a controversial policy, but there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of contract teachers in improving student learning. We present experimental evidence on the impact of contract teachers using data from an 'as is' expansion of contract-teacher hiring across a representative sample of 100 randomly-selected government-run rural primary schools in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. At the end of two years, students in schools with an extra contract teacher per...
|The Aggregate Effect of School Choice: Evidence from a Two-stage Experiment in India|
with Karthik Muralidharan: w19441
We present experimental evidence on the impact of a school choice program in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) that provided students with a voucher to finance attending a private school of their choice. The study design featured a unique two-stage lottery-based allocation of vouchers that created both a student-level and a market-level experiment, which allows us to study both the individual and the aggregate effects of school choice (including spillovers). After two and four years of the program, we find no difference between test scores of lottery winners and losers on Telugu (native language) and math, suggesting that the large cross-sectional te...
Published: Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2015. "The Aggregate Effect of School Choice: Evidence from a Two-Stage Experiment in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(3), pages 1011-1066. citation courtesy of
|February 2011||School Inputs, Household Substitution, and Test Scores|
with Jishnu Das, Stefan Dercon, James Habyarimana, Pramila Krishnan, Karthik Muralidharan: w16830
Empirical studies of the relationship between school inputs and test scores typically do not account for the fact that households will respond to changes in school inputs. We present a dynamic household optimization model relating test scores to school and household inputs, and test its predictions in two very different low-income country settings - Zambia and India. We measure household spending changes and student test score gains in response to unanticipated as well as anticipated changes in school funding. Consistent with the optimization model, we find in both settings that households offset anticipated grants more than unanticipated grants. We also find that unanticipated school grants lead to significant improvements in student test scores but anticipated grants have no impact on te...
Published: Jishnu Das & Stefan Dercon & James Habyarimana & Pramila Krishnan & Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2013. "School Inputs, Household Substitution, and Test Scores," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 29-57, April. citation courtesy of
|September 2009||Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India|
with Karthik Muralidharan: w15323
Performance pay for teachers is frequently suggested as a way of improving education outcomes in schools, but the theoretical predictions regarding its effectiveness are ambiguous and the empirical evidence to date is limited and mixed. We present results from a randomized evaluation of a teacher incentive program implemented across a large representative sample of government-run rural primary schools in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The program provided bonus payments to teachers based on the average improvement of their students' test scores in independently administered learning assessments (with a mean bonus of 3% of annual pay). At the end of two years of the program, students in incentive schools performed significantly better than those in control schools by 0.28 and 0.16 stan...
Published: Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2011. "Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 39 - 77. citation courtesy of