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Teacher Truancy in India: The Role of Culture, Norms and Economic Incentives

  • Kaushik Basu

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Social scientists often emphasize how ‘culture’ and ‘social norms’ can be important determinants of economic behavior and development. This raises questions of the relative importance of economic incentives and these other more social variables, like culture, and of how they interact with one another. This paper uses some recent stylized facts concerning the problem of teacher truancy in India and constructs a simple model to illustrate the interaction between the ‘economic’ and the ‘social.’ It discusses how this enriches our view of policy-making for improving economic performance. [This is text of the Vera Anstey Memorial Lecture, delivered by the author at the 88th Annual Conference of the Indian Economic Association in Visakhapatnam, on 28 December 2005.] BREAD Working Paper 112. [The paper will appear in a forthcoming issue of Indian Economic Journal.]

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:766
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  1. Basu, Kaushik, 2000. "Prelude to Political Economy: A Study of the Social and Political Foundations of Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296713, March.
  2. Basu, K. & Genicot, G. & Stiglitz, J., 2000. "Unemployment and Wage Rigidity when Labor Supply is a Household Decision," Papers 00-01-11, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  3. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  4. Abhijit Banerjee & Kaivan Munshi, 2004. "How Efficiently is Capital Allocated? Evidence from the Knitted Garment Industry in Tirupur," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 19-42.
  5. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E, 1996. "The Evolution of Social Norms in Common Property Resource Use," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 766-88, September.
  7. S. N. Durlauf, . "The Memberships Theory of Poverty: The Role of Group Affiliations in Determining Socioeconomic Outcomes," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1221-01, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  8. Michael Kremer & Nazmul Chaudhury & F. Halsey Rogers & Karthik Muralidharan & Jeffrey Hammer, 2005. "Teacher Absence in India: A Snapshot," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 658-667, 04/05.
  9. Basu, Kaushik, 2005. "Labor Laws and Labor Welfare in the Context of the Indian Experience," Working Papers 05-17, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
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