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Report Cards: The Impact of Providing School and Child Test Scores on Educational Markets


  • Tahir Andrabi
  • Jishnu Das
  • Asim Ijaz Khwaja


We study the impact of providing school report cards with test scores on subsequent test scores, prices, and enrollment in markets with multiple public and private providers. A randomly selected half of our sample villages (markets) received report cards. This increased test scores by 0.11 standard deviations, decreased private school fees by 17 percent, and increased primary enrollment by 4.5 percent. Heterogeneity in the treatment impact by initial school test scores is consistent with canonical models of asymmetric information. Information provision facilitates better comparisons across providers, and improves market efficiency and child welfare through higher test scores, higher enrollment, and lower fees.

Suggested Citation

  • Tahir Andrabi & Jishnu Das & Asim Ijaz Khwaja, 2017. "Report Cards: The Impact of Providing School and Child Test Scores on Educational Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(6), pages 1535-1563, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:6:p:1535-63
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20140774

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tahir Andrabi & Jishnu Das & Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Tristan Zajonc, 2011. "Do Value-Added Estimates Add Value? Accounting for Learning Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-54, July.
    2. Das, Jishnu & Zajonc, Tristan, 2010. "India shining and Bharat drowning: Comparing two Indian states to the worldwide distribution in mathematics achievement," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 175-187, July.
    3. Pedro Carneiro & Jishnu Das & Hugo Reis, 2016. "The value of private schools: evidence from Pakistan," CeMMAP working papers CWP22/16, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Richard Akresh & Damien de Walque & Harounan Kazianga, 2013. "Cash Transfers and Child Schooling: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation of the Role of Conditionality," Economics Working Paper Series 1301, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
    5. Das, Jishnu & Pandey, Priyanka & Zajonc, Tristan, 2006. "Learning levels and gaps in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4067, The World Bank.
    6. Martina Björkman & Jakob Svensson, 2009. "Power to the People: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 735-769.
    7. Camargo, Braz & Camelo, Rafael & Firpo, Sergio & Ponczek, Vladimir, 2014. "Information, Market Incentives, and Student Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 7941, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Mérel, Pierre & Ortiz-Bobea, Ariel & Paroissien, Emmanuel, 2020. "How Big is the “Lemons” Problem? Historical Evidence from French Wines," Working Papers 302485, Institut National de la recherche Agronomique (INRA), Departement Sciences Sociales, Agriculture et Alimentation, Espace et Environnement (SAE2).
    2. De Walque,Damien B. C. M. & Valente,Christine, 2018. "Incentivizing school attendance in the presence of parent-child information frictions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8476, The World Bank.
    3. Michael Coelli & Gigi Foster & Andrew Leigh, 2018. "Do School Principals Respond to Increased Public Scrutiny? New Survey Evidence from Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 94(S1), pages 73-101, June.
    4. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Ozyurt, Selcuk & Singh, Niharika, 2018. "Upping the Ante: The Equilibrium Effects of Unconditional Grants to Private Schools," Working Paper Series rwp18-019, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    5. Dan Levy, 2019. "Can Transparency and Accountability Programs Improve Health? Experimental Evidence from Indonesia and Tanzania," CID Working Papers 352, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    6. Arkedis, Jean & Creighton, Jessica & Dixit, Akshay & Fung, Archon & Kosack, Stephen & Levy, Dan & Tolmie, Courtney, 2019. "Can Transparency and Accountability Programs Improve Health? Experimental Evidence from Indonesia and Tanzania," Working Paper Series rwp19-020, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    7. Annika Barbara Bergbauer & Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2018. "Testing," CESifo Working Paper Series 7168, CESifo.
    8. Islam, Asad, 2019. "Parent–teacher meetings and student outcomes: Evidence from a developing country," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 273-304.
    9. Erica Myers & Steven L. Puller & Jeremy D. West, 2019. "Effects of Mandatory Energy Efficiency Disclosure in Housing Markets," NBER Working Papers 26436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Annika B. Bergbauer, 2019. "Conditions and Consequences of Education – Microeconometric Analyses," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 86, December.
    11. Monira Essa Aloud & Sara Al-Rashood & Ina Ganguli & Basit Zafar, 2020. "Information and Social Norms: Experimental Evidence on the Labor Market Aspirations of Saudi Women," NBER Working Papers 26693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Grossman, Guy & Platas, Melina R. & Rodden, Jonathan, 2018. "Crowdsourcing accountability: ICT for service delivery," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 74-87.
    13. Bruns, Barbara & Macdonald, Isabel Harbaugh & Schneider, Ben Ross, 2019. "The politics of quality reforms and the challenges for SDGs in education," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 27-38.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure


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