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Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India


Shawn Allen Cole


Harvard Business School

Abhijit V. Banerjee


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Esther Duflo


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD)

Leigh L. Linden


The University of Texas at Austin; National Bureau of Economic Research; Jameel Poverty Action Lab; Innovations for Poverty Action; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD)

December 2005

NBER Working Paper No. w11904

Abstract:     
Many efforts to improve school quality by adding school resources have proven to be ineffective. This paper presents the results of two experiments conducted in Mumbai and Vadodara, India, designed to evaluate ways to improve the quality of education in urban slums. A remedial education program hired young women from the community to teach basic literacy and numeracy skills to children lagging behind in government schools. We find the program to be very effective: it increased average test scores of all children in treatment schools by 0.14 standard deviations in the first year, and 0.28 in the second year, relative to comparison schools. A computer-assisted learning program provided each child in the fourth grade with two hours of shared computer time per week, in which students played educational games that reinforced mathematics skills. The program was also very effective, increasing math scores by 0.35 standard deviations the first year, and 0.47 the second year. These results were not limited to the period in which students received assistance, but persisted for at least one year after leaving the program. Two instrumental variable strategies suggest that while remedial education benefited the children who attended the remedial classes, their classmates, who did not attend the remedial courses but did experience smaller classes, did not post gains, confirming that resources alone may not be sufficient to improve outcomes.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 61

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Date posted: February 6, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Cole, Shawn Allen and Banerjee, Abhijit V. and Duflo, Esther and Linden, Leigh L., Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India (December 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11904. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=872740

Contact Information

Shawn Allen Cole
Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States
Abhijit V. Banerjee
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )
50 Memorial Drive
Room E52-252D
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-8855 (Phone)
617-253-6915 (Fax)
Esther Duflo (Contact Author)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )
50 Memorial Drive
Room E52-252G
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-258-7013 (Phone)
617-253-6915 (Fax)
Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) ( email )
Cambridge, MA
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.povertyactionlab.org/
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )
Duke University
Durham, NC 90097
United States
Leigh L. Linden
The University of Texas at Austin ( email )
Austin, TX 78712
United States
+1 (512) 475-8556 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com
National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com
Jameel Poverty Action Lab ( email )
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com
Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )
New Haven, CT
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )
Duke University
Durham, NC 90097
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.leighlinden.com
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References:  19
Citations:  77

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