NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Venkatesh Sundararaman

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only

Working Papers and Chapters

September 2013Contract Teachers: Experimental Evidence from India
with Karthik Muralidharan: w19440
The large-scale expansion of primary schooling in developing countries has led to the increasing use of non-civil-service contract teachers who are hired locally by the school, are not professionally trained, have fixed-term renewable contracts, and are paid much lower salaries than regular civil-service teachers. This has been a controversial policy, but there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of contract teachers in improving student learning. We present experimental evidence on the impact of contract teachers using data from an 'as is' expansion of contract-teacher hiring across a representative sample of 100 randomly-selected government-run rural primary schools in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. At the end of two years, students in schools with an extra contract teacher per...
The Aggregate Effect of School Choice: Evidence from a Two-stage Experiment in India
with Karthik Muralidharan: w19441
We present experimental evidence on the impact of a school choice program in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) that featured a unique two-stage lottery-based allocation of school vouchers that created both a student-level and a market-level experiment. This design allows us to study both the individual and the aggregate effects of school choice (including spillovers). We find that private-school teachers have lower levels of formal education and training than public-school teachers, and are paid much lower salaries. On the other hand, private schools have a longer school day, a longer school year, smaller class sizes, lower teacher absence, higher teaching activity, and better school hygiene. After two and four years of the program, we find no difference between the test scores of lo...
February 2011School Inputs, Household Substitution, and Test Scores
with Jishnu Das, Stefan Dercon, James Habyarimana, Pramila Krishnan, Karthik Muralidharan: w16830
Empirical studies of the relationship between school inputs and test scores typically do not account for the fact that households will respond to changes in school inputs. We present a dynamic household optimization model relating test scores to school and household inputs, and test its predictions in two very different low-income country settings – Zambia and India. We measure household spending changes and student test score gains in response to unanticipated as well as anticipated changes in school funding. Consistent with the optimization model, we find in both settings that households offset anticipated grants more than unanticipated grants. We also find that unanticipated school grants lead to significant improvements in student test scores but anticipated grants have no impact on te...
September 2009Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India
with Karthik Muralidharan: w15323
Performance pay for teachers is frequently suggested as a way of improving education outcomes in schools, but the theoretical predictions regarding its effectiveness are ambiguous and the empirical evidence to date is limited and mixed. We present results from a randomized evaluation of a teacher incentive program implemented across a large representative sample of government-run rural primary schools in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The program provided bonus payments to teachers based on the average improvement of their students' test scores in independently administered learning assessments (with a mean bonus of 3% of annual pay). At the end of two years of the program, students in incentive schools performed significantly better than those in control schools by 0.28 and 0.16 stan...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only

 
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