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Teacher Shocks and Student Learning: Evidence from Zambia

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  • Das, J.
  • Dercon, S.
  • Habyarimana, J.
  • Krishnan, P.

Abstract

Following a tradition that relates household-level shocks to educational attainment, we examine the impact of teacher-level shocks on student learning. As a plausible measure for these shocks, we use teacher absenteeism during a 30-day recall period. A 5-percent increase in teacher absence rate reduced learning by 4 to 8 percent of average gains over the year, for both Mathematics and English. The estimated impacts are substantial and, in addition to the losses due to time away from class, likely reflect lower teaching quality when in class and less lesson-preparation when at home. Health problems-primarily their own illness and the illnesses of family members-account for more than 60 percent of teacher absenteeism. This suggests both that households are unable to substitute adequately for school-level teaching inputs and that, to support human capital formation, insurance at the school-level may be a policy priority that is worth exploring further.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0514.

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Length: 50
Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0514

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Cited by:
  1. Banerjee, Ritwik & King, Elizabeth M. & Orazem, Peter F. & Paterno, Elizabeth M., 2012. "Student and teacher attendance: The role of shared goods in reducing absenteeism," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 563-574.
  2. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning, 2012. "Evaluation of Development Programs: Using Regressions to assess the Impact of Complex Interventions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-081/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. McKenzie, David, 2011. "Beyond baseline and follow-up : the case for more t in experiments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5639, The World Bank.
  4. Rogers, F. Halsey & Vegas, Emiliana, 2009. "No more cutting class ? reducing teacher absence and providing incentives for performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4847, The World Bank.
  5. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning, 2012. "Evaluation of Development Programs: Using Regressions to assess the Impact of Complex Interventions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-081/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Dridi, Mohamed, 2013. "Corruption dans le Secteur d'Education : Une Typologie de Conséquences
    [Corruption Within Education Sector : A Typology of Consequences]
    ," MPRA Paper 46874, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Das, Jishnu & Pandey, Priyanka & Zajonc, Tristan, 2006. "Learning levels and gaps in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4067, The World Bank.
  8. Elbers, Chris & Gunning, Jan Willem, 2013. "Evaluation of development programs : randomized controlled trials or regressions ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6587, The World Bank.
  9. Chrysanthi Balomenou & Konstantinos kolovos, 2013. "Universities´ funding in the the current global financial crisis: Threat or opportunity for the implementation of Triple Helix Theory?," ERSA conference papers ersa13p839, European Regional Science Association.
  10. Daniel Suryadarma & Asep Suryahadi & Sudarno Sumarto & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Improving Student Performance in Public Primary Schools in Developing Countries: Evidence from Indonesia," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 401-429.
  11. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
  12. Dang, Hai-Anh H. & King, Elizabeth M., 2013. "Incentives and teacher effort: further evidence from a developing country," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6694, The World Bank.
  13. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning, 2009. "Evaluation of Development Policy: Treatment versus Program Effects," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-073/2, Tinbergen Institute.

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