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Grain inflation: Identifying agent discretion in response to a conditional school nutrition program

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  • Linden, Leigh L.
  • Shastry, Gauri Kartini

Abstract

Many incentive programs rely on local agents with significant discretion to allocate benefits. We estimate the degree of discretion exercised by teachers within a conditional transfer program designed to improve nutrition and encourage student attendance in Mumbai, India. The program allocates grain to students every month their attendance exceeds 80%, creating an incentive for teachers to inflate attendance to benefit certain students. We find that teachers manipulate students' records, altering the incentives to attend school. The teachers' response also varies across students. Teachers inflate more for girls, better students, and students from lower castes, but less for Muslim students.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 99 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 128-138

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:99:y:2012:i:1:p:128-138

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

Related research

Keywords: School meals; Conditional transfer programs; Decentralization; Nutrition; Education;

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References

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  1. Banerjee, Abhijit & Cole, Shawn & Duflo, Esther & Linden, Leigh, 2006. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," CEPR Discussion Papers 5446, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Cesar Martinelli & Susan W. Parker, 2006. "Deception and Misreporting in a Social Program," Working Papers 0602, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  3. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Marianne Bertrand & Leigh L. Linden & Francisco Perez-Calle, 2011. "Improving the Design of Conditional Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Education Experiment in Colombia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 167-95, April.
  4. Alderman, Harold, 2002. "Do local officials know something we don't? Decentralization of targeted transfers in Albania," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 375-404, March.
  5. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," NBER Working Papers 9413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Coudouel, Aline & Marnie, Sheila & Micklewright, John, 1999. "Targeting Social Assistance in a Transition Economy: the Mahallas in Uzbekistan," CEPR Discussion Papers 2064, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jeni Klugman, 1997. "Decentralization: A survey from a child welfare perspective," Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series iopeps97/6, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
  8. Das, Jishnu, 2004. "Equity in educational expenditures : can government subsidies help?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3249, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Muralidharan, Karthik & Prakash, Nishith, 2013. "Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India," IZA Discussion Papers 7585, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Singh, Prakarsh, 2011. "Performance Pay and Information: Reducing Child Malnutrition in Urban Slums," MPRA Paper 29403, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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