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Publication(MIT Press, 2020-12-20) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe ; Blakeslee, David S. ; Hoover, Matthew ; Linden, Leigh ; Raju, Dhushyanth ; Ryan, Stephen P.We evaluate a program that recruited local entrepreneurs to open and operate new schools in 200 underserved villages in Sindh, Pakistan. School operators received a per-student subsidy to provide tuition-free primary education, and in half the villages received a higher subsidy for females. The program increased enrollment by 32 percentage points, and test scores by 0.63 standard deviations, with no difference across the two subsidy schemes. Estimating a structural model of the demand and supply for school inputs, we find that program schools selected inputs similar to those of a social planner who internalizes all the education benefits to society.
Publication(Elsevier, 2017-02) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe ; Raju, DhushyanthWe present evidence from the first three years of a randomized controlled trial of a government-administered pilot teacher performance pay program in Punjab, Pakistan. The program offers yearly cash bonuses to teachers in a sample of 600 public primary schools with the lowest mean student exam scores in the province. The bonus is linked to the change in the school's average student exam scores, the change in the school's enrollment, and the level of student exam participation in the school. Bonus receipt and size are randomly assigned across schools according to whether or not the teacher is the school's head. The program increases student exam participation rates in the second and third year and increases enrollment in grade 1 in the third year. We do not find that the program increases student exam scores in any year. Mean impacts are similar across program variants. The absence of positive impacts on test scores may be due to weaknesses in the program's incentive structure and/or limitations in the program's administrative data.
The Heterogeneous Effects of a Food Price Crisis on Child School Enrolment and Labour: Evidence from Pakistan(Taylor and Francis, 2015-11-17) Hou, Xiaohui ; Hong, Seo Yeon ; Scott, KinnonUsing a panel survey, this paper investigates how food price increases in Pakistan in 2008–2010 affect children’s school enrollment and labor. The causal identification relies on the geographical variations in food (wheat) price. The results show that the negative impacts of food price increase on school enrollment differ by gender, economic status and the presence of siblings. The negative effects on school do not directly correspond to the increase in child labor because the transition from being idle to labor activity or from school to being idle is significant, particularly among poor girls. The results also show that children in households with access to agricultural lands are not affected by higher food prices. The analyses reveal a more dynamic picture of the impact of food price increase on child status and contribute to broader policy discussion to mitigate the impact of crises on child education.
Publication(Taylor and Francis, 2015-08-05) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe ; Raju, DhushyanthThis paper examines the impacts of accountability-based public per-student subsidies provided to low-cost private schools in Punjab, Pakistan on student enrolment and school inputs. Programme entry is contingent on achieving a minimum pass rate on a specially-designed academic test. We use regression discontinuity to estimate impacts on schools that joined the programme in the last entry round (phase 4) before follow-up survey data collection. We find large positive impacts on school enrolment, number of teachers, and other inputs for programme schools near the minimum pass rate.