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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonja Fagernäs & Panu Pelkonen, 2011. "Whether to Hire Local Contract Teachers? Trade-off Between Skills and Preferences in India," Working Paper Series 1811, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sus:susewp:1811

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    More about this item


    Education; Para-teachers; Discrete Choice Experiment; Skills; Preferences; India;

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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