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The relative effectiveness and costs of contract and regular teachers in India


  • Paul Atherton
  • Geeta Kingdon


While use of contract teachers provides a low-cost way to increase teacher numbers, it raises the quality concern that these less trained teachers may be less effective. We estimate the causal contract-teacher effect on student achievement using school fixed effects and value-added models of the education production function, using Indian data. We allow for both homogenous and heterogeneous treatment effects, to highlight the mechanisms through which the contract teacher effect works. We also present school fixed effects teacher pay equations and predict achievement marks per Rupee spent on regular and contract teachers. We find that despite being paid just a third of the salary of regular teachers with similar observed characteristics, contract teachers produce higher student learning.

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  • Paul Atherton & Geeta Kingdon, 2010. "The relative effectiveness and costs of contract and regular teachers in India," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-15, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-15

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    Cited by:

    1. Crawfurd, Lee, 2017. "School Management and Public-Private Partnerships in Uganda," MPRA Paper 79923, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2013. "Contract Teachers: Experimental Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 19440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sonja Fagernäs & Panu Pelkonen, 2012. "Preferences and skills of Indian public sector teachers," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-31, December.
    4. Lant Pritchett, 2014. "The Risks to Education Systems from Design Mismatch and Global Isomorphism," CID Working Papers 277, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    5. Asim,Salman & Chase,Robert S. & Dar,Amit & Schmillen,Achim Daniel, 2015. "Improving education outcomes in South Asia : findings from a decade of impact evaluations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7362, The World Bank.
    6. Todd Pugatch, 2017. "Is teacher certification an effective tool for developing countries?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 349-349, April.
    7. Pritchett, Lant, 2014. "The risks to education systems from design mismatch and global isomorphism: Concepts, with examples from India," WIDER Working Paper Series 039, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Tessa Bold & Mwangi Kimenyi & Germano Mwabu & Alice Ng'ang'a & Justin Sandefur, 2013. "Scaling-up What Works: Experimental Evidence on External Validity in Kenyan Education," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    9. Marine de Talancé, 2015. "Better Teachers, Better Results? Evidence from Rural Pakistan," Working Papers DT/2015/21, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    10. Sonja Fagernäs & Panu Pelkonen, 2011. "Whether to Hire Local Contract Teachers? Trade-off Between Skills and Preferences in India," SERC Discussion Papers 0083, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    11. Sushmita Nalini Das, 2014. "Do "Child-Friendly" Practices affect Learning? Evidence from Rural India," DoQSS Working Papers 14-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    12. Jenny Aker, 2013. "Scaling Up What Works: Experimental Evidence on External Validity in Kenyan Education," Working Papers 321, Center for Global Development.

    More about this item


    Student achievement; contract teachers; India;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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