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Girls’ scholarship program.  Often small/no impacts on actual learning in education research ◦ Inputs (textbooks, flipcharts) little impact on learning.

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Presentation on theme: "Girls’ scholarship program.  Often small/no impacts on actual learning in education research ◦ Inputs (textbooks, flipcharts) little impact on learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Girls’ scholarship program

2  Often small/no impacts on actual learning in education research ◦ Inputs (textbooks, flipcharts) little impact on learning ◦ De-worming affected attendance but not test scores  What is often most important in education policies and programs? Incentives  What happens if we offer direct incentives for student learning?  What happens if only offer this for a disadvantaged subgroup? Girls

3  The debate over cash incentives ◦ “Pros”  Incentives to exert effort  Helps with self-control problems  Externalities to effort ◦ Possible “cons”  Exacerbate inequality  Weaken intrinsic motivation (short or long run)  Gaming the system (cramming, cheating)  Merit awards could affect ◦ Eligible students’ own effort ◦ Other students effort & teacher effort could be either complements or substitutes

4 The Girls Scholarship Program Randomized evaluation in Kenyan primary schools 63 treatment & 64 comparison schools Balanced treatment groups Announced an award for girls in treatment schools Based on end of year standardized test scores Top 15% of grade 6 girls in program schools win award 1000 KSh (US$12.80) for winner and her family 500 KSh (US$6.40) for school fees Public recognition at an award ceremony Two cohorts of scholarship winners, 2001 & 2002 Survey data on attendance, study habits, attitudes

5  Program implemented in two districts: Teso & Busia  Randomization and awards stratified by district ◦ Historical and ethnic differences in the two districts ◦ NGOs have poor relations with some Teso communities ◦ Tragic lightning incident early 2001



8  School attrition: five Teso schools pulled out in 2001  Test attrition: treatment vs. comparison with complete 2001 data: ◦ Teso 54% vs. 66%, Busia 77% vs. 77%  Differential test attrition: significantly more high- achieving students took the 2001 exam in comparison schools relative to program schools, likely to bias estimated program impacts toward zero in Teso

9 How to deal with it? Make sure that no one drops out from your original treatment and control groups. If there is still attrition… Check that it is not different in treatment and control. Also check that it is not correlated with observables. If there is differential attrition 1.Impute outcome variable based on baseline covariates 2.Bounds: run the analysis under the “best-case” and “worst-case” scenario. Either the best or the worst students are the ones that drop out at a rate that is equal to the rate of differential attrition


11  Estimate total effects and district effects  Estimate effects for treatment schools (T):







18  Cheating is likely not a concern  Evidence of “learning”: consistent effects over two years and two cohorts  No effect on tutoring, household textbook purchases, self-esteem, attitudes toward school, amount of chores at home  Teachers report more parental support in Busia  Student and teacher attendance increased

19  Important to think through programmatic issues when designing interventions – incentives must be aligned (teachers, parents, students…)  Randomizing by school can help to pick up within class/school externalities  Things can go wrong – need to monitor attrition  Large and persistent gains in learning are possible to achieve


21  What if instead of linking student performance to students, we made the teachers responsible?  Randomized evaluation in Kenya (Glewwe, Ilias and Kremer (2004))  Offered teachers prizes based on schools’ average scores ◦ Top scoring schools and most improved schools (relative to baseline) ◦ Each category 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th prizes were awarded (21% to 43 % of teacher monthly salary) ◦ Penalized teachers for dropouts by assigning low scores to students who did not take the exam

22 What was affected: Treatment scores 0.14 sd above control Strongest for geography, history, and religion (most memorization) Exam participation rose Extra-prep sessions What was NOT affected: Dropout/ repetition rates Teacher attendance Homework assignment or pedagogy Lasting test score gains Conclusions: Teachers’ effort concentrated in improving short-run outcomes, rather than stimulating long-run learning

23  Busia: Overall (0.18 – 0.20 s.d.) ◦ Persistent effect for girls the next year ◦ Spillover effect for boys  Teso: Scholarship less successful: either no significant program effect or unreliable estimates  Merit-based scholarships can motivate students to exert effort ◦ Test score and attendance gains among girls in the medium-run  Positive classroom externalities ◦ Initially low-achieving girls, boys, and teachers  Possible multiple equilibria in classroom culture  Cost-effective way to boost test scores  Equity concerns – may wish to restrict to particular areas or populations


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