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The Impact of Eyeglasses on the Academic Performance of Primary School Students: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rural China

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  • Glewwe, Paul
  • Park, Albert
  • Zhao, Meng

Abstract

About 10% of primary school students in developing countries have poor vision, yet in virtually all of these countries very few children wear glasses. There has been almost no research on the impact of poor vision on school performance in developing countries, and simple OLS estimates are likely to be biased because students who study more often are likely to develop poor vision faster. This paper presents results from the first year of a randomized trial in Western China that began in the summer of 2004. The trial involves over 19,000 students in 165 schools in two counties of Gansu province. The schools were randomly divided (at the township level) into 103 schools that received eyeglasses (for students in grades 3-5) and 62 schools that served as controls. The results from the first year indicate that, after one year, provision of eyeglasses increased test scores by 0.15 to 0.30 standard deviations (of the distribution of the test scores).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota, Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy in its series Conference Papers with number 6644.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umcicp:6644

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Keywords: International Development; Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession;

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  1. Bruhn, Miriam & McKenzie, David, 2008. "In pursuit of balance : randomization in practice in development field experiments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4752, The World Bank.
  2. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," NBER Technical Working Papers 0344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. World Bank, 2001. "China : Overcoming Rural Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13902, February.
  4. Gomes-Neto, Joao Batista & Hanushek, Eric A. & Leite, Raimundo Helio & Frota-Bezzera, Roberto Claudio, 1997. "Health and schooling: Evidence and policy implications for developing countries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 271-282, June.
  5. Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," NBER Working Papers 7591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Bruhn, Miriam & McKenzie, David, 2008. "In pursuit of balance : randomization in practice in development field experiments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4752, The World Bank.

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