Inputs, Incentives, and Complementarities in Education: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania

62 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018

See all articles by Isaac Mbiti

Isaac Mbiti

University of Virginia; IZA

Karthik Muralidharan

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Mauricio Romero

ITAM, Centro de Investigación Económica

Youdi Schipper

Twaweza

Constantine Manda

Yale University, Department of Political Science, Students

Rakesh Rajani

Twaweza

Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

We present results from a large-scale randomized experiment across 350 schools in Tanzania that studied the impact of providing schools with (a) unconditional grants, (b) teacher incentives based on student performance, and (c) both of the above. After two years, we find (a) no impact on student test scores from providing school grants, (b) some evidence of positive effects from teacher incentives, and (c) significant positive effects from providing both programs. Most importantly, we find strong evidence of complementarities between the two programs, with the effect of joint provision being significantly greater than the sum of the individual effects. Our results suggest that combining spending on school inputs (which is the default policy) with improved teacher incentives could substantially increase the cost-effectiveness of public spending on education.

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Suggested Citation

Mbiti, Isaac and Muralidharan, Karthik and Romero, Mauricio and Schipper, Youdi and Manda, Constantine and Rajani, Rakesh, Inputs, Incentives, and Complementarities in Education: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania (July 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24876. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3222444

Isaac Mbiti (Contact Author)

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

IZA ( email )

Karthik Muralidharan

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

Mauricio Romero

ITAM, Centro de Investigación Económica ( email )

Camino a Santa Teresa No. 930
Col. Héroes de Padierna
Ciudad de México
Mexico

Youdi Schipper

Twaweza ( email )

127 Mafinga Road
P.O. Box 38342
Dar es Salaam
Tanzania

Constantine Manda

Yale University, Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Rakesh Rajani

Twaweza

127 Mafinga Road
P.O. Box 38342
Dar es Salaam
Tanzania

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