Person: Raju, Dhushyanth
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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.
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.
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.