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Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya

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  • Esther Duflo
  • Pascaline Dupas
  • Michael Kremer

Abstract

To the extent that students benefit from high-achieving peers, tracking will help strong students and hurt weak ones. However, all students may benefit if tracking allows teachers to better tailor their instruction level. Lower-achieving pupils are particularly likely to benefit from tracking when teachers have incentives to teach to the top of the distribution. We propose a simple model nesting these effects and test its implications in a randomized tracking experiment conducted with 121 primary schools in Kenya. While the direct effect of high-achieving peers is positive, tracking benefited lower-achieving pupils indirectly by allowing teachers to teach to their level. (JEL I21, J45, O15)

Suggested Citation

  • Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:5:p:1739-74
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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