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Whether to Hire Local Contract Teachers? Trade-off Between Skills and Preferences in India

  • Sonja Fagernäs


    (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)

  • Panu Pelkonen


    (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)

Whether to hire teachers locally on a contract basis, or via competitive examinations and training as government officials, is a major policy question in developing countries. Recruitment practices can have implications for the competence, motivation and the cost of teachers. This study relies on a Discrete Choice Experiment to assess the job preferences of a sample of 700 future elementary school teachers in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The students have been selected using either district-wide competitive examination or from a pool of locally hired, experienced contract teachers (para-teachers). Skills in English, Arithmetic and Vocabulary are also tested. We find a trade-off between skills and preferences, as teacher students hired using competitive examination have higher skills, but prefer posts in less remote regions. Most of the differences in job preferences between the two groups can be explained by geographic origin of the teachers, skills, experience and education.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Sussex in its series Working Paper Series with number 1811.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:sus:susewp:1811
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