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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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Author Info

  • Paul Glewwe
  • Albert Park
  • Meng Zhao

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 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 4-6) and 62 schools that served as controls. The results indicate that, after one year, making eyeglasses available increased average test scores by 0.11 to 0.15 standard deviations (of the distribution of the test scores). For those students who accepted the glasses, average test scores increased by 0.15 to 0.22 standard deviations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Natural Field Experiments with number 00254.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00254

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Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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  1. World Bank, 2001. "China : Overcoming Rural Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13902, October.
  2. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Doug Miller & A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach, 2006. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," Working Papers 621, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  4. Alan Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," Working Papers 808, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Batista Gomes, J. & Hanushek, E.A. & Helio Leite, R., 1992. "Health and Schooling: Evidence and Policy Implications for Developping Countries," RCER Working Papers 306, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Miriam Bruhn & David McKenzie, 2009. "In Pursuit of Balance: Randomization in Practice in Development Field Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 200-232, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Miriam Bruhn & David McKenzie, 2009. "In Pursuit of Balance: Randomization in Practice in Development Field Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 200-232, October.

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