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Incentivizing schooling for learning : evidence on the impact of alternative targeting approaches

  • Barrera-Osorio, Felipe
  • Filmer, Deon

This paper evaluates a primary school scholarship program in Cambodia with two different targeting mechanisms, one based on poverty level and the other on baseline test scores ("merit"). Both targeting mechanisms increased enrollment and attendance. However, only the merit-based targeting induced positive effects on test scores. The paper shows that the asymmetry of response is unlikely to have been driven by differences between recipients'characteristics. Higher student and family effort among beneficiaries of the merit-based scholarships suggest that the framing of the scholarship mattered for impact. The results suggest that in order to balance equity and efficiency, a two-step targeting approach might be preferable: first, target low-income individuals, and then, among them, target based on merit.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6541.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2013
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6541
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  1. Kremer, Michael & Miguel, Edward & Thornton, Rebecca & Ozier, Owen, 2005. "Incentives to learn," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3546, The World Bank.
  2. Sylvie Moulin & Michael Kremer & Paul Glewwe, 2009. "Many Children Left Behind? Textbooks and Test Scores in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 112-35, January.
  3. Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio, 2013. "More Schooling and More Learning?: Effects of a Three-Year Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Nicaragua after 10 Years," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 81801, Inter-American Development Bank.
  4. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 07-034, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  5. Sarah Baird & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2011. "Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1709-1753.
  6. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2008. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," NBER Working Papers 14475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. T. Paul Schultz, 2001. "School Subsidies for the Poor: Evaluating the Mexican Progresa Poverty Program," Working Papers 834, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  8. Jere R. Behrman & Susan W. Parker & Petra E. Todd, 2005. "Long-Term Impacts of the Oportunidades Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Rural Youth in Mexico," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 122, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Carlsson, Magnus & Dahl, Gordon B. & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2012. "The Effect of Schooling on Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 6913, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Deon Filmer & Norbert Schady, 2008. "Getting Girls into School: Evidence from a Scholarship Program in Cambodia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 581617-5816.
  11. Eric P. Bettinger, 2012. "Paying to Learn: The Effect of Financial Incentives on Elementary School Test Scores," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 686-698, August.
  12. Karla Hoff & Priyanka Pandey, 2006. "Discrimination, Social Identity, and Durable Inequalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 206-211, May.
  13. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597.
  14. Filmer, Deon & Schady, Norbert, 2011. "Does more cash in conditional cash transfer programs always lead to larger impacts on school attendance?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 150-157, September.
  15. Jere R. Behrman & Susan W. Parker & Petra E. Todd, 2011. "Do Conditional Cash Transfers for Schooling Generate Lasting Benefits?: A Five-Year Followup of PROGRESA/Oportunidades," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(1), pages 93-122.
  16. Harounan Kazianga & Damien de Walque & Harold Alderman, 2012. "Educational and Child Labour Impacts of Two Food-for-Education Schemes: Evidence from a Randomised Trial in Rural Burkina Faso-super- †," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(5), pages -760, November.
  17. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2009. "The Effects of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1384-1414, September.
  18. Bardhan, Pranab, 1996. "Efficiency, Equity and Poverty Alleviation: Policy Issues in Less Developed Countries," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233427, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
  19. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2006. "Addressing Absence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 117-132, Winter.
  20. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Ethan G. Lewis, 2006. "Schooling and the Armed Forces Qualifying Test: Evidence from School-Entry Laws," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
  21. Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Financial Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from Randomized Trials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1755-1798.
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