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Teacher Pay and Student Performance: 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 student performance. A geographic discontinuity in the policy's implementation provides identifying variation. We find no effects of the hardship allowance on average student performance. These null average effects hide important heterogeneity, with learning gains for students at the top of the distribution and losses for those at the bottom. With over two dozen developing countries implementing similar policies to increase teacher compensation in rural schools, this study offers important evidence on their effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Pugatch, Todd & Schroeder, Elizabeth, 2014. "Teacher Pay and Student Performance: Evidence from the Gambian Hardship Allowance," IZA Discussion Papers 8621, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8621
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    Cited by:

    1. Matteo Bobba & Tim Ederer & Gianmarco León-Ciliotta & Christopher A. Neilson & Marco Nieddu, 2021. "Teacher compensation and structural inequality: Evidence from centralized teacher school choice in Perú," Economics Working Papers 1788, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    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. Gopalkrishnan Iyer & Chris Counihan, 2018. "When a Right Goes Wrong: The Unintended Consequences of India's Right to Education Act," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 367-379, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Cruz, Tassia, 2018. "Teacher hiring decisions: How do governments react to an exogenous redistribution of education funds?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 58-81.
    6. Berlinski, Samuel & Ramos, Alejandra, 2020. "Teacher mobility and merit pay: Evidence from a voluntary public award program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 186(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    teacher compensation; 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
    • 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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