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When can school inputs improve test scores?

Author

Listed:
  • Das, Jishnu
  • Dercon, Stefan
  • Habyarimana, James
  • Krishnan, Pramila

Abstract

The relationship between school inputs and educational outcomes is critical for educational policy. The authors recognize that households will respond optimally to changes in school inputs and study how such responses affect the link between school inputs and cognitive achievement. To incorporate the forward-looking behavior of households, the authors present a household optimization model relating household resources and cognitive achievement to school inputs. In this framework, if household and school inputs are technical substitutes in the production function for cognitive achievement, the impact of unanticipated inputs is larger than that of anticipated inputs. The authors test the predictions of the model for nonsalary cash grants to schools using a unique data set from Zambia. They find that household educational expenditures and school cash grants are substitutes with a coefficient of elasticity between -0.35 and -0.52. Consistent with the optimization model, anticipated funds have no impact on cognitive achievement, but unanticipated funds lead to significant improvements in learning. This methodology has important implications for educational research and policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Das, Jishnu & Dercon, Stefan & Habyarimana, James & Krishnan, Pramila, 2004. "When can school inputs improve test scores?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3217, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3217
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2005. "Remedying education: Evidence from two randomized experiments in india," Framed Field Experiments 00122, The Field Experiments Website.
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    7. Urquiola, Miguel, 2001. "Identifying class size effects in developing countries : evidence from rural schools in Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2711, The World Bank.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Glick, Peter & Sahn, David E., 2009. "Cognitive skills among children in Senegal: Disentangling the roles of schooling and family background," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 178-188, April.
    2. Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    3. Das, Jishnu, 2004. "Equity in educational expenditures : can government subsidies help?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3249, The World Bank.
    4. Datar, Ashlesha & Mason, Bryce, 2008. "Do reductions in class size "crowd out" parental investment in education?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 712-723, December.
    5. Michael Clemens, 2004. "The Long Walk to School: International Education Goals in Historical Perspective," Working Papers 37, Center for Global Development.
    6. Stefan Dercon (QEH), "undated". "Risk, Growth and Poverty: what do we know, what do we need to know?," QEH Working Papers qehwps148, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    7. Das, Jishnu & Hammer, Jeffrey, 2005. "Which doctor? Combining vignettes and item response to measure clinical competence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 348-383, December.
    8. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael, 2015. "School governance, teacher incentives, and pupil–teacher ratios: Experimental evidence from Kenyan primary schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 92-110.
    9. Jishnu Das & Stefan Dercon & James Habyarimana & Pramila Krishnan, 2007. "Teacher Shocks and Student Learning: Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
    10. Das, Jishnu & Hammer, Jeffrey, 2004. "Which doctor? Combining vignettes and item response to measure doctor quality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3301, The World Bank.
    11. Alejandro Esteller & Albert Solé, 2005. "Does decentralization improve the efficiency in the allocation of public investment? Evidence from Spain," Working Papers 2005/5, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    12. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Reuß, Karsten, 2008. "Age-dependent skill formation and returns to education," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 631-646, August.
    13. Masino, Serena & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2016. "What works to improve the quality of student learning in developing countries?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 53-65.
    14. Singh, Prakarsh, 2011. "Performance Pay and Information: Reducing Child Malnutrition in Urban Slums," MPRA Paper 29403, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Francken, Nathalie & Minten, Bart & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Media, Monitoring, and Capture of Public Funds: Evidence from Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 242-255, January.
    16. Sharon Bernhardt, 2006. "Participation in a School Incentive Programme in Karnataka," Working Papers id:319, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housing&Human Habitats; Environmental Economics&Policies; Teaching and Learning; Economic Theory&Research; Economic Conditions and Volatility; Economics of Education;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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