NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Isaac Mbiti

Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
University of Virginia
P. O. Box 400893
Charlottesville, VA 22904

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
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NBER Program Affiliations: DEV , CH
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: University of Virginia

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2019Designing Effective Teacher Performance Pay Programs: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania
with Mauricio Romero, Youdi Schipper: w25903
We use a field experiment in Tanzania to compare the effectiveness on learning of two teacher performance pay systems. The first is a Pay for Percentile system (a rank-order tournament). The second rewards teachers based on multiple proficiency thresholds. Pay for Percentile can (under certain conditions) induce optimal effort among teachers, but our threshold system is easier to implement and provides teachers with clearer goals and targets. Both systems improved student test scores. However, the multiple-thresholds system was more effective in boosting student learning and is less costly.
July 2018Inputs, Incentives, and Complementarities in Education: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania
with Karthik Muralidharan, Mauricio Romero, Youdi Schipper, Constantine Manda, Rakesh Rajani: w24876
We present results from a large-scale randomized experiment across 350 schools in Tanzania that studied the impact of providing schools with (a) unconditional grants, (b) teacher incentives based on student performance, and (c) both of the above. After two years, we find (a) no impact on student test scores from providing school grants, (b) some evidence of positive effects from teacher incentives, and (c) significant positive effects from providing both programs. Most importantly, we find strong evidence of complementarities between the two programs, with the effect of joint provision being significantly greater than the sum of the individual effects. Our results suggest that combining spending on school inputs (which is the default policy) with improved teacher incentives could substanti...
September 2015Mobile Banking: The Impact of M-Pesa in Kenya
with David N. Weil
in African Successes, Volume III: Modernization and Development, Sebastian Edwards, Simon Johnson, and David N. Weil, editors
M-Pesa is a mobile phone based money transfer system in Kenya which grew at a blistering pace following its inception in 2007. We examine how M-Pesa is used as well as its economic impacts. Analyzing data from two waves of individual data on financial access in Kenya, we find that increased use of M-Pesa lowers the propensity of people to use informal savings mechanisms such as ROSCAS, but raises the probability of their being banked. Using aggregate data, we calculate the velocity of M-Pesa at roughly four person-to-person transfers per month. In addition, we find that M-Pesa causes decreases in the prices of competing money transfer services such as Western Union. While we find little evidence that people use their M-Pesa accounts as a place to store wealth, our results suggest that M-Pe...
June 2011Mobile Banking: The Impact of M-Pesa in Kenya
with David N. Weil: w17129
M-Pesa is a mobile phone based money transfer system in Kenya which grew at a blistering pace following its inception in 2007. We examine how M-Pesa is used as well as its economic impacts. Analyzing data from two waves of individual data on financial access in Kenya, we find that increased use of M-Pesa lowers the propensity of people to use informal savings mechanisms such as ROSCAS, but raises the probability of their being banked. Using aggregate data, we calculate the velocity of M-Pesa at roughly four person-to-person transfers per month. In addition, we find that M-Pesa causes decreases in the prices of competing money transfer services such as Western Union. While we find little evidence that people use their M-Pesa accounts as a place to store wealth, our results suggest that M-Pe...
 
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