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Incentives for Teacher Relocation: Evidence from the Gambian Hardship Allowance

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  • Pugatch, Todd

    (Oregon State University)

  • Schroeder, Elizabeth

    (Oregon State University)

Abstract

We evaluate the impact of the Gambian hardship allowance, which provides a salary premium of 30-40% to primary school teachers in remote locations, on the distribution and characteristics of teachers across schools. A geographic discontinuity in the policy's implementation and the presence of common pre-treatment trends between hardship and non-hardship schools provide sources of identifying variation. We find that the hardship allowance increased the share of qualified (certified) teachers by 10 percentage points. The policy also reduced the pupil-qualified teacher ratio by 27, or 61% of the mean, in recipient schools close to the distance threshold. Further analysis suggests that these gains were not merely the result of teachers switching from non-hardship to hardship schools. With similar policies in place in more than two dozen other developing countries, our study provides an important piece of evidence on their effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Pugatch, Todd & Schroeder, Elizabeth, 2013. "Incentives for Teacher Relocation: Evidence from the Gambian Hardship Allowance," IZA Discussion Papers 7723, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7723
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    Cited by:

    1. David K. Evans & Fei Yuan & Deon Filmer, 2020. "Are Teachers in Africa Poorly Paid? Evidence from 15 Countries," Working Papers 538, Center for Global Development.
    2. Moussa P Blimpo & Ousman Gajigo & Todd Pugatch, 2019. "Financial Constraints and Girls’ Secondary Education: Evidence from School Fee Elimination in The Gambia," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 33(1), pages 185-208.
    3. Cattaneo, Andrea & Adukia, Anjali & Brown, David L. & Christiaensen, Luc & Evans, David K. & Haakenstad, Annie & McMenomy, Theresa & Partridge, Mark & Vaz, Sara & Weiss, Daniel J., 2022. "Economic and social development along the urban–rural continuum: New opportunities to inform policy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 157(C).
    4. Elacqua, Gregory & Rosa, Leonardo, 2023. "Teacher transfers and the disruption of Teacher Staffing in the City of Sao Paulo," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 12702, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Mark Gersovitz, 2018. "The allocation of health (and other professional) personnel to rural areas of poor countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 390-403, February.
    6. Evans, David K. & Yuan, Fei & Filmer, Deon, 2022. "Teacher pay in Africa: Evidence from 15 countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).
    7. Pugatch, Todd & Schroeder, Elizabeth, 2014. "Incentives for teacher relocation: Evidence from the Gambian hardship allowance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 120-136.
    8. Juan F. Castro & Bruno Esposito, 2017. "The Effect of Teacher Bonuses on Learning Outcomes and the Distribution of Teacher Skill: Evidence from Rural Schools in Peru," Working Papers 104, Peruvian Economic Association.
    9. Tang, Yipeng, 2018. "What makes rural teachers happy? An investigation on the subjective well-being (SWB) of Chinese rural teachers," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 192-200.
    10. Todd Pugatch, 2017. "Is teacher certification an effective tool for developing countries?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 349-349, April.
    11. Camelo, Rafael & Ponczek, Vladimir, 2021. "Teacher Turnover and Financial Incentives in Underprivileged Schools: Evidence from a Compensation Policy in a Developing Country," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    12. Todd Pugatch & Elizabeth Schroeder, 2018. "Teacher pay and student performance: evidence from the Gambian hardship allowance," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 249-276, April.
    13. Leonardo Bonilla-Mejía & Erika Londoño-Ortega, 2021. "Geographic Isolation and Learning in Rural Schools," Borradores de Economia 1169, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    14. Giordono, Leanne & Pugatch, Todd, 2015. "Informal Fee Elimination and Student Performance: Evidence from The Gambia," IZA Discussion Papers 9560, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    teacher labor markets; rural schools; Gambia; program evaluation; regression discontinuity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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