Educator Incentives and Educational Triage in Rural Primary Schools

40 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2018 Last revised: 26 Jul 2021

See all articles by Daniel O. Gilligan

Daniel O. Gilligan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Naureen Karachiwalla

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Ibrahim Kasiirye

Makerere University - Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC)

Adrienne Lucas

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics

Derek A. Neal

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2018

Abstract

In low-income countries, educators often encourage weak primary students to drop out before reaching the end of primary school in order to avoid the negative attention they receive when their students perform poorly on primary leaving exams. We conducted an experiment in rural Uganda that sought to reduce dropout rates in grade six and seven by rewarding teachers for the performance of each of their students. Teachers responded to this Pay for Percentile (PFP) incentive system in ways that raised attendance rates two school years later from .56 to .60. These attendance gains were driven primarily by outcomes in treatment schools that provide textbooks for grade six math students, where two-year attendance rates rose from .57 to .64. In these same schools, students whose initial skills levels prepared them to use grade six math texts enjoyed significant gains in math achievement. We find little evidence that PFP improved attendance or achievement in schools without books even though PFP had the same impact on reported teacher effort in schools with and without books. We document several results that are consistent with the hypothesis that teacher effort and books are complements in education production.

Suggested Citation

Gilligan, Daniel O. and Karachiwalla, Naureen and Kasiirye, Ibrahim and Lucas, Adrienne and Neal, Derek Allen, Educator Incentives and Educational Triage in Rural Primary Schools (August 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24911, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3236715

Daniel O. Gilligan (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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Naureen Karachiwalla

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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Ibrahim Kasiirye

Makerere University - Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) ( email )

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Kampala
Uganda

Adrienne Lucas

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics ( email )

419 Purnell Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

Derek Allen Neal

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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