Monitoring Works: Getting Teachers to Come to School

60 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2008

See all articles by Esther Duflo

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)

Rema Hanna

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Stephen P Ryan

MIT; NBER

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2008

Abstract

This paper combines a randomized experiment and a structural model to test whether monitoring and financial incentives can reduce teacher absence and increase learning. In 57 schools in India, randomly chosen out of 113, a teacher's daily attendance was verified through photographs with time and date stamps, and his salary was made a non-linear function of his attendance. The teacher absence rate changed from 42 percent in the comparison schools to 21 percent in the treatment schools. To separate the effects of the monitoring and the financial incentives, we estimate a structural dynamic labour supply model that allows for heterogeneity in preferences and auto-correlation of external shocks. The teacher response was almost entirely due to the financial incentives. The estimated elasticity of labour with respect to the incentive is 0.306. Our model accurately predicts teacher attendance in two out-of-sample tests on the comparison group and a treatment group that received different financial incentives. The program improved child learning: test scores in the treatment schools were 0.17 standard deviations higher than in the comparison schools.

Keywords: Education, financial incentives, India

JEL Classification: I20, I21, J13, J30, O10

Suggested Citation

Duflo, Esther and Hanna, Rema and Ryan, Stephen P, Monitoring Works: Getting Teachers to Come to School (February 2008). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6682. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1141004

Esther Duflo (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Rema Hanna

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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Stephen P Ryan

MIT ( email )

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