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‘When Can School Inputs Improve Test Scores?’

Listed author(s):
  • Das, J.
  • Dercon, S.
  • Habyarimana, J.
  • Krishnan, P.

Most studies fail to find an impact of school inputs on outcomes such as test scores. We argue that this might be a consequence of ignoring the possibility that households respond optimally to changes in school inputs and thus obscure the real effect of such provision. To incorporate the forward-looking behaviour of households, we present a household optimisation model relating household resources and cognitive achievement to school inputs. In this framework if household and school inputs are technical substitutes in the production function, the impact of unanticipated inputs is larger than that of anticipated inputs. We test the predictions of the model for non-salary cash grants to schools using a unique data set from Zambia. Consistent with the optimisation model, anticipated funds lead to significant improvements in learning. We are thus able both to order the effects of different kinds of spending and capture their impact on cognitive achievement.

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File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe0437.pdf
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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0437.

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Length: 60
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0437
Note: DE
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1997. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 5888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 1999. "The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment: Evidence from 35 Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 85-120.
  3. Esther Duflo & Abhijit Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Leigh Linden, 2006. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomised Experiments in India," Working Papers id:360, eSocialSciences.
  4. Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 1997. "Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 311-335.
  5. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, "undated". "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-10, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  6. Ablo, Emmanuel & Reinikka, Ritva, 1998. "Do budgets really matter? - evidence from public spending on education and health in Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1926, The World Bank.
  7. Pramila Krishnan & Stefan Dercon, 1997. "In sickness and in health ... risk-sharing within households in rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  8. Paul Glewwe & Hanan Jacoby, 1994. "Student Achievement and Schooling Choice in Low-Income Countries: Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 843-864.
  9. Foster, Andrew D, 1995. "Prices, Credit Markets and Child Growth in Low-Income Rural Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 551-570, May.
  10. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264.
  11. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-685, May.
  12. Urquiola, Miguel, 2001. "Identifying class size effects in developing countries : evidence from rural schools in Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2711, The World Bank.
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