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Raju, Dhushyanth

Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank
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Education, Health, Nutrition, Labor, Poverty, Risk
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Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank
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Last updated: September 15, 2023
Citations 58 Scopus

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Short-run Learning Dynamics under a Test-based Accountability System : Evidence from Pakistan

2010-11-01, Barrera-Osorio, Felipe, Raju, Dhushyanth

Low student learning is a common finding in much of the developing world. This paper uses a relatively unique dataset of five semiannual rounds of standardized test data to characterize and explain the short-term changes in student learning. The data are collected as part of the quality assurance system for a public-private partnership program that offers public subsidies conditional on minimum learning levels to low-cost private schools in Pakistan. Apart from a large positive distributional shift in learning between the first two test rounds, the learning distributions over test rounds show little progress. Schools are ejected from the program if they fail to achieve a minimum pass rate in the test in two consecutive attempts, making the test high stakes. Sharp regression discontinuity estimates show that the threat of program exit on schools that barely failed the test for the first time induces large learning gains. The large change in learning between the first two test rounds is likely attributable to this accountability pressure given that a large share of new program entrants failed in the first test round. Schools also qualify for substantial annual teacher bonuses if they achieve a minimum score in a composite measure of student test participation and mean test score. Sharp regression discontinuity estimates do not show that the prospect of future teacher bonus rewards induces learning gains for schools that barely did not qualify for the bonus.

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Delivering Education to the Underserved through a Public-Private Partnership Program in Pakistan

2017-08, Barrera-Osorio, Felipe, Blakeslee, David S., Hoover, Matthew, Linden, Leigh L., Raju, Dhushyanth, Ryan, Stephen P.

This study experimentally evaluates the short-term impacts of public per-student subsidies to partnering local entrepreneurs to establish and operate tuition-free, coeducational, private primary schools in educationally underserved villages in Sindh province, Pakistan. Two subsidy structures were tested, one in which the subsidy amount did not differ by student gender, and the other in which the subsidy amount was higher for female students. The program administrator introduced the latter structure with the aim of correcting for the gender disparity in school enrollment in the general program setting. The program increased school enrollment by 30 percentage points in treated villages, for boys and girls. It increased test scores by 0.63 standard deviations in treated villages. The gender-differentiated subsidy structure did not have larger impacts on girls' enrollment or test scores than the gender-uniform one. Program schools proved more effective in raising test scores than government schools located near the villages, with program-school students scoring 0.16 standard deviations higher, despite coming from more socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Estimations of the demand for schooling and education production suggest nearly efficient choices on school inputs by the program administrator and partnering entrepreneurs.

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Delivering Education to the Underserved through a Public-Private Partnership Program in Pakistan

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.

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Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan

2015-06, Barrera-Osorio, Felipe, Raju, Dhushyanth

This paper presents 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 public primary schools with the lowest mean student exam scores in the province. Bonuses are linked to three school-level indicators: the gain in student exam scores, the gain in school enrollment, and the level of student exam participation. Bonus receipt and size are also randomly assigned across schools according to whether or not the teacher is the school’s head. On average, the program increases school enrollment by 4.1 percent and student exam participation rates by 3.4 percentage points, both in the third year. The analysis does not find that the program increases student exam scores in any year. Mean impacts are similar across program variants. The positive mean impact on school enrollment is mainly seen in urban schools and the positive mean impact on student exam participation rates is only seen in rural schools.

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Evaluating Public Per-Student Subsidies to Low-Cost Private Schools : Regression-Discontinuity Evidence from Pakistan

2011-04-01, Barrera-Osorio, Felipe, Raju, Dhushyanth

This study estimates the causal effects of a public per-student subsidy program targeted at low-cost private schools in Pakistan on student enrollment and schooling inputs. Program entry is ultimately conditional on achieving a minimum stipulated student pass rate (cutoff) in a standardized academic test. This mechanism for treatment assignment allows the application of regression-discontinuity (RD) methods to estimate program impacts at the cutoff. Data on two rounds of entry test takers (phase 3 and phase 4) are used. Modeling the entry process of phase-4 test takers as a sharp RD design, the authors find evidence of large positive impacts on the number of students, teachers, classrooms, and blackboards. Modeling the entry process of phase-3 test takers as a partially-fuzzy RD design given treatment crossovers, they do not find evidence of significant program impacts on outcomes of interest. The latter finding is likely due to weak identification arising from a small jump in the probability of treatment at the cutoff.

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Evaluating the Impact of Public Student Subsidies on Low-Cost Private Schools in Pakistan

2015-08-05, Barrera-Osorio, Felipe, Raju, Dhushyanth

This 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.

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Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan

2017-02, Barrera-Osorio, Felipe, Raju, Dhushyanth

We 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.