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The Effects of School Libraries on Language Skills: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in India

Author

Listed:
  • Borkum, Evan

    () (Mathematica Policy Research)

  • He, Fang

    () (US Government Accountability Office)

  • Linden, Leigh L.

    () (University of Texas at Austin)

Abstract

We conduct a randomized controlled trial of an Indian school library program. Overall, the program had no impact on students' scores on a language skills test administered after 16 months. The estimates are sufficiently precise to rule out effects larger than 0.053 and 0.037 standard deviations, based on the 95 and 90 percent confidence intervals. This finding is robust across individual competencies and subsets of the sample. The method of treatment, however, does seem to matter – physical libraries have no effect, while visiting librarians actually reduce test scores. We find no impact on test scores in other subjects or attendance rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Borkum, Evan & He, Fang & Linden, Leigh L., 2013. "The Effects of School Libraries on Language Skills: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in India," IZA Discussion Papers 7267, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7267
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rouse, Cecilia Elena & Krueger, Alan B., 2004. "Putting computerized instruction to the test: a randomized evaluation of a "scientifically based" reading program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 323-338, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abeberese, Ama Baafra & Kumler, Todd J. & Linden, Leigh L., 2011. "Improving Reading Skills by Encouraging Children to Read: A Randomized Evaluation of the Sa Aklat Sisikat Reading Program in the Philippines," IZA Discussion Papers 5812, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Heath, Rachel & Mushfiq Mobarak, A., 2015. "Manufacturing growth and the lives of Bangladeshi women," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 1-15.
    3. Masino, Serena & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2016. "What works to improve the quality of student learning in developing countries?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 53-65.
    4. Delavallade, Clara & Griffith, Alan & Shukla, Gaurav & Thornton, Rebecca, 2017. "Participation, learning, and equity in education: Can we have it all?," IFPRI discussion papers 1627, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Rosangela Bando & Francisco Gallego & Paul Gertler & Dario Romero Fonseca, 2016. "Books or Laptops? The Cost-Effectiveness of Shifting from Printed to Digital Delivery of Educational Content," Documentos de Trabajo 474, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    6. Rajesh Raj, S.N. & Sen, Kunal & Annigeri, Vinod B. & Kulkarni, Arun K. & Revankar, D.R., 2015. "Joyful learning? The effects of a school intervention on learning outcomes in Karnataka," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 183-195.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    library; randomized controlled trial; education; development;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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