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Monitoring Works: Getting Teachers to Come to School

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  • Duflo, Esther
  • Hanna, Rema
  • Ryan, Stephen

Abstract

This paper combines a randomized experiment and a structural model to test whether monitoring and financial incentives can reduce teacher absence and increase learning. In 57 schools in India, randomly chosen out of 113, a teacher’s daily attendance was verified through photographs with time and date stamps, and his salary was made a non-linear function of his attendance. The teacher absence rate changed from 42 percent in the comparison schools to 21 percent in the treatment schools. To separate the effects of the monitoring and the financial incentives, we estimate a structural dynamic labour supply model that allows for heterogeneity in preferences and auto-correlation of external shocks. The teacher response was almost entirely due to the financial incentives. The estimated elasticity of labour with respect to the incentive is 0.306. Our model accurately predicts teacher attendance in two out-of-sample tests on the comparison group and a treatment group that received different financial incentives. The program improved child learning: test scores in the treatment schools were 0.17 standard deviations higher than in the comparison schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Duflo, Esther & Hanna, Rema & Ryan, Stephen, 2008. "Monitoring Works: Getting Teachers to Come to School," CEPR Discussion Papers 6682, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6682
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. John Bound & Todd Stinebrickner & Timothy Waidman, 2004. "Using a Structural Retirement Model to Simulate the Effect of Changes to the OASDI and Medicare Programs," Working Papers wp091, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. P. Duraisamy, 2000. "Changes in Returns to Education in India, 1983-94: By Gender, Age-Cohort and Location," Working Papers 815, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    4. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2006. "Addressing Absence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 117-132, Winter.
    5. 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.
    6. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 2004. "Fairness and Incentives in a Multi-task Principal-Agent Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 453-474, October.
    7. David Card & Dean R. Hyslop, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of a Time-Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare-Leavers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1723-1770, November.
    8. Duraisamy, P., 2002. "Changes in returns to education in India, 1983-94: by gender, age-cohort and location," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 609-622, December.
    9. Duraisamy, P., 2000. "Changes in Returns to Education in India, 1983-94: By Gender, Age-Cohort and Location," Papers 815, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; financial incentives; India;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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