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Evaluating public per-student subsidies to low-cost private schools : regression-discontinuity evidence from Pakistan

  • Barrera-Osorio, Felipe
  • Raju, Dhushyanth

This study estimates the causal effects of a public per-student subsidy program targeted at low-cost private schools in Pakistan on student enrollment and schooling inputs. Program entry is ultimately conditional on achieving a minimum stipulated student pass rate (cutoff) in a standardized academic test. This mechanism for treatment assignment allows the application of regression-discontinuity (RD) methods to estimate program impacts at the cutoff. Data on two rounds of entry test takers (phase 3 and phase 4) are used. Modeling the entry process of phase-4 test takers as a sharp RD design, the authors find evidence of large positive impacts on the number of students, teachers, classrooms, and blackboards. Modeling the entry process of phase-3 test takers as a partially-fuzzy RD design given treatment crossovers, they do not find evidence of significant program impacts on outcomes of interest. The latter finding is likely due to weak identification arising from a small jump in the probability of treatment at the cutoff.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5638.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5638
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  1. Austin Nichols, 2007. "RD: Stata module for regression discontinuity estimation," Statistical Software Components S456888, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 14 Jun 2014.
  2. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  3. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
  4. David K. Evans & Arkadipta Ghosh, 2008. "Prioritizing Educational Investments in Children in the Developing World," Working Papers 587, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  5. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  6. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L. Miller, 2005. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," NBER Working Papers 11702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  8. Battistin, Erich & Rettore, Enrico, 2008. "Ineligibles and eligible non-participants as a double comparison group in regression-discontinuity designs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 715-730, February.
  9. van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2008. "Breaking the link between poverty and low student achievement: An evaluation of Title I," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 731-756, February.
  10. Gauri, Varun & Vawda, Ayesha, 2003. "Vouchers for basic education in developing countries : a principal-agent perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3005, The World Bank.
  11. repec:oup:restud:v:79:y::i:3:p:933-959 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2006. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," NBER Working Papers 12329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2006. "A dime a day : the possibilities and limits of private schooling in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4066, The World Bank.
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