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Disrupting Education? Experimental Evidence on Technology-Aided Instruction in India

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  • Karthik Muralidharan
  • Abhijeet Singh
  • Alejandro J. Ganimian

Abstract

We study the impact of a personalized technology-aided after-school instruction program in middle-school grades in urban India using a lottery that provided winners with free access to the program. Lottery winners scored 0.37 sigma higher in math and 0.23 sigma higher in Hindi over just a 4.5-month period. IV estimates suggest that attending the program for 90 days would increase math and Hindi test scores by 0.6 sigma and 0.39 sigma respectively. We find similar absolute test score gains for all students, but much greater relative gains for academically-weaker students. Our results suggest that well-designed, technology-aided instruction programs can sharply improve productivity in delivering education.

Suggested Citation

  • Karthik Muralidharan & Abhijeet Singh & Alejandro J. Ganimian, 2019. "Disrupting Education? Experimental Evidence on Technology-Aided Instruction in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(4), pages 1426-1460, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:109:y:2019:i:4:p:1426-60
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20171112
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    1. Islam, Asad & Kwon, Sungoh & Masood, Eema & Prakash, Nishith & Sabarwal, Shwetlena & Saraswat, Deepak, 2020. "When Goal-Setting Forges Ahead but Stops Short," GLO Discussion Paper Series 526, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Chirantan Chatterjee & Eric A. Hanushek & Shreekanth Mahendiran, 2020. "Can Greater Access to Education Be Inequitable? New Evidence from India’s Right to Education Act," NBER Working Papers 27377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Anandi Mani & Emma Riley, 2019. "Social networks, role models, peer effects, and aspirations," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2019-120, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Eric Bettinger & Robert W. Fairlie & Anastasia Kapuza & Elena Kardanova & Prashant Loyalka & Andrey Zakharov, 2020. "Does EdTech Substitute for Traditional Learning? Experimental Estimates of the Educational Production Function," NBER Working Papers 26967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Derksen, Laura & Leclerc, Catherine Michaud & Souza, Pedro CL, 2019. "Searching for Answers: The Impact of Student Access to Wikipedia," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 450, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    6. Naik, Gopal & Chitre, Chetan & Bhalla, Manaswini & Rajan, Jothsna, 2020. "Impact of use of technology on student learning outcomes: Evidence from a large-scale experiment in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
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    8. Derksen, Laura & Leclerc, Catherine Michaud & Souza, Pedro CL, 2019. "Searching for Answers : The Impact of Student Access to Wikipedia," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1236, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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    10. Islam, Asadul & Kwon, Sungoh & Masood, Eema & Prakash, Nishith & Sabarwal, Shwetlena & Saraswat, Deepak, 2020. "When Goal-Setting Forges Ahead but Stops Short," IZA Discussion Papers 13188, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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