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Do Call Centers Promote School Enrollment? Evidence from India

  • Emily Oster
  • M. Bryce Millett

Over the last two decades in India there have been large increases in outsourced jobs and large increases in schooling rates, particularly in English. Existing evidence suggests the trends are broadly related. In this paper we explore how localized these impacts are; this has implications for understanding how quickly information about these jobs diffuses. We use panel data on school enrollment from a comprehensive school-level administrative dataset. This is merged with detailed data on Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) center location and founding dates. Using school fixed effects, we estimate the impact of introducing a new ITES center in the vicinity of the school on enrollment. We find that introducing a new ITES center results in a 5.7% increase in number of children enrolled; these effects are extremely localized. We argue this result is not driven by pre-trends in enrollment or endogenous center placement, and is not a result of ITES-center induced changes in population or increases in income. The effect is driven entirely by English-language schools, consistent with the claim that the impacts are driven by changes in returns to schooling.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15922.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Publication status: published as “ Do IT Service Centers Promote School Enrollment? Evidence from India ” (with Bryce Millett). Journal of Development Economics, 104: 123 - 135 (September 2013).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15922
Note: CH ED LS
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  1. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Technical Change and Human Capital Returns and Investments: Evidence from the Green Revolution," Home Pages _065, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. David Atkin, 2016. "Endogenous Skill Acquisition and Export Manufacturing in Mexico," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2046-85, August.
  3. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alderman, Harold & Orazem, Peter & Paterno, Elizabeth M., 2001. "School Quality, School Cost, and the Public/Private School Choices of Low-Income Households in Pakistan," Staff General Research Papers 1970, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. World Bank, 2009. "World Development Indicators 2009," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4367, August.
  6. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  7. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2006. "Traditional Institutions Meet the Modern World: Caste, Gender, and Schooling Choice in a Globalizing Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1225-1252, September.
  8. Gauri Kartini Shastry, 2012. "Human Capital Response to Globalization: Education and Information Technology in India," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 287-330.
  9. Kane, Thomas J, 1994. "College Entry by Blacks since 1970: The Role of College Costs, Family Background, and the Returns to Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 878-911, October.
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