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The Right to Education Act: Trends in Enrollment, Test Scores, and School Quality

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  • Manisha Shah
  • Bryce Millett Steinberg

Abstract

The Right to Education Act in 2009 guaranteed access to free primary education for all children in India ages 6-14. This paper investigates whether national trends in educational data changed around the time of this law using household surveys and administrative data. We document four trends: (1) School-going increases after the passage of RTE, (2) Test scores decline dramatically after 2010, (3) School infrastructure appears to be improving both before and after RTE, and (4) The number of students who have to repeat a grade falls precipitously after RTE is enacted, in line with the official provisions of the law.

Suggested Citation

  • Manisha Shah & Bryce Millett Steinberg, 2019. "The Right to Education Act: Trends in Enrollment, Test Scores, and School Quality," NBER Working Papers 25608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25608
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Manisha Shah & Bryce Millett Steinberg, 2015. "Workfare and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 21543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Muralidharan, Karthik & Das, Jishnu & Holla, Alaka & Mohpal, Aakash, 2017. "The fiscal cost of weak governance: Evidence from teacher absence in India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 116-135.
    3. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Urquiola, Miguel, 2006. "The effects of generalized school choice on achievement and stratification: Evidence from Chile's voucher program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1477-1503, September.
    4. Manisha Shah & Bryce Millett Steinberg, 2021. "Workfare and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from India," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(2), pages 380-405.
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    Cited by:

    1. Koussihouèdé, Oswald, 2020. "Primary school size and learning achievement in Senegal: Testing the quantity–quality trade-off," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    2. Chirantan Chatterjee & Eric A. Hanushek & Shreekanth Mahendiran, 2020. "Can Greater Access to Education Be Inequitable? New Evidence from India’s Right to Education Act," NBER Working Papers 27377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Joshi, Radhika, 2020. "Can social integration in schools be mandated: Evidence from the Right to Education Act in India," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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