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Does Money Matter for Student Performance? Evidence from a Grant Program in Uganda

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  • Martina Björkman
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    Abstract

    In response to extensive corruption in the education sector, the Government of Uganda began to publish newspaper ads on the timing and amount of funds disbursed to the districts. The intent of the campaign was to boost schools' and parents' ability to monitor the local officials in charge of disbursing funds to the schools. The mass information campaign was successful. But since newspaper penetration varies greatly across districts, the exposure to information about the program, and thus funding, differ across districts. I use this variation in program exposure between districts to evaluate whether public funds have an effect on student performance. The results show that money matters: On average, students in districts highly exposed to the information campaign, and hence to the grant program, scored 0.40 standard deviations better in the Primary Leaving Exam (PLE) than students in districts less exposed to information. The results are robust to controlling for a broad range of confounding factors.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 326.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:326

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    1. Ritva Reinikka & Jakob Svensson, 2004. "Local Capture: Evidence From a Central Government Transfer Program in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 678-704, May.
    2. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
    3. Paul Glewwe, 2002. "Schools and Skills in Developing Countries: Education Policies and Socioeconomic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 436-482, June.
    4. Glewwe, Paul & Kremer, Michael, 2006. "Schools, Teachers, and Education Outcomes in Developing Countries," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    5. Kremer, Michael R. & Miguel, Edward & Thornton, Rebecca, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," Scholarly Articles 3716457, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Gordon C. Winston & David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Peer Effects in Higher Education," NBER Working Papers 9501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Gordon Winston & David Zimmerman, 2004. "Peer Effects in Higher Education," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 395-424 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Chin, Aimee, 2005. "Can redistributing teachers across schools raise educational attainment? Evidence from Operation Blackboard in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 384-405, December.
    8. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2004. "The power of information : evidence from a newspaper campaign to reduce capture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3239, The World Bank.
    9. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Elizabeth King & Michael Kremer, 2001. "Vouchers for Private Schooling in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Paul Glewwe & Michael Kremer & Sylvie Moulin & Eric Zitzewitz, 2000. "Retrospective vs. Prospective Analyses of School Inputs: The Case of Flip Charts in Kenya," NBER Working Papers 8018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
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    14. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico & Moreira, Diana B., 2012. "Corrupting learning," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 712-726.

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