Making the Grade: The Sensitivity of Education Program Effectiveness to Input Choices and Outcome Measures
42 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2017 Last revised: 16 Jul 2020
Date Written: January 29, 2020
This paper demonstrates the acute sensitivity of education program effectiveness to the choices of inputs and outcome measures, using a randomized evaluation of a mother-tongue literacy program. The program raises reading scores by 0.64SDs and writing scores by 0.45SDs. A reduced-cost version instead yields statistically-insignificant reading gains and some large negative effects (-0.33SDs) on advanced writing. We combine a conceptual model of education production with detailed classroom observations to examine the mechanisms driving the results; we show they could be driven by the program initially lowering productivity before raising it, and potentially by missing complementary inputs in the reduced-cost version.
Keywords: Economics of Education, Cost-Effectiveness, Development Economics
JEL Classification: I21, I25, O12, O15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation