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  • 1.
    Bold, Tessa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Filmer, Deon
    Martin, Gayle
    Molina, Ezequiel
    Stacy, Brian
    Rockmore, Christophe
    Svensson, Jakob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Wane, Waly
    Enrollment without Learning: Teacher Effort, Knowledge, and Skill in Primary Schools in Africa2017In: Journal of Economic Perspectives, ISSN 0895-3309, E-ISSN 1944-7965, Vol. 31, no 4, p. 185-204Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    School enrollment has universally increased over the last 25 years in low-income countries. Enrolling in school, however, does not assure that children learn. A large share of children in low-income countries complete their primary education lacking even basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills. Teacher quality is a key determinant of student learning, but not much is known about teacher quality in low-income countries. This paper discusses an ongoing research program intended to help fill this void. We use data collected through direct observations, unannounced visits, and tests from primary schools in seven sub-Saharan African countries to answer three questions: How much do teachers teach? What do teachers know? How well do teachers teach?

  • 2.
    Bold, Tessa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Kaizzi, Kayuki C.
    Svensson, Jakob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Yanagizawa-Drott, David
    LEMON TECHNOLOGIES AND ADOPTION: MEASUREMENT, THEORY, AND EVIDENCE FROM AGRICULTURAL MARKETS IN UGANDA2017In: Quarterly Journal of Economics, ISSN 0033-5533, E-ISSN 1531-4650, Vol. 132, no 3, p. 1055-1100Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To reduce poverty and food insecurity in Africa requires raising productivity in agriculture. Systematic use of fertilizer and hybrid seed is a pathway to increased productivity, but adoption of these technologies remains low. We investigate whether the quality of agricultural inputs can help explain low take-up. Testing modern products purchased in local markets, we find that 30% of nutrient is missing in fertilizer, and hybrid maize seed is estimated to contain less than 50% authentic seeds. We document that such low quality results in low average returns. If authentic technologies replaced these low-quality products, however, average returns are high. To rationalize the findings, we calibrate a learning model using data from our agricultural trials. Because agricultural yields are noisy, farmers' ability to learn about quality is limited and this can help explain the low quality equilibrium we observe, but also why the market has not fully collapsed.

  • 3.
    Bold, Tessa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Kaizzi, Kayuki
    Svensson, Jakob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Yanagizawa-Drott, David
    Low quality, low returns, low adoption: evidence from the market for fertilizer and hybrid seed in Uganda2015Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    To reduce poverty and food insecurity in Africa requires raising productivity in agriculture. Systematic use of fertilizer and hybrid seed is a pathway to increased productivity, but adoption of these technologies remains low. We investigate whether the quality of agricultural inputs can help explain low take-up. Testing modern products purchased in local markets, we find that 30% of nutrient is missing in fertilizer, and hybrid maize seed contains less than 50% authentic seeds. We document that such low quality results in negative average returns. If authentic technologies replaced these low-quality products, average returns for smallholder farmers would be over 50%.

  • 4.
    Bold, Tessa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Kimenyi, Mwangi
    Mwabu, Germano
    Ng'ang'a, Alice
    Sandefur, Justin
    Experimental evidence on scaling up education reforms in Kenya2018In: Journal of Public Economics, ISSN 0047-2727, E-ISSN 1879-2316, Vol. 168, p. 1-20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    What constraints arise when translating successful NGO programs to improve public services in developing countries into government policy? We report on a randomized trial embedded within a nationwide reform of teacher hiring in Kenyan government primary schools. New teachers offered a fixed-term contract by an international NGO significantly raised student test scores, while teachers offered identical contracts by the Kenyan government produced zero impact. Observable differences in teacher characteristics explain little of this gap. Instead, data suggests that bureaucratic and political opposition to the contract reform led to implementation delays and a differential interpretation of identical contract terms. Additionally, contract features that produced larger learning gains in both the NGO and government treatment arms were not adopted by the government outside of the experimental sample.

  • 5.
    Bold, Tessa
    et al.
    Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.
    Kimenyi, Mwangi
    Mwabu, Germano
    Sandefur, Justin
    Can Free Provision Reduce Demand for Public Services?: Evidence from Kenya2015In: World Bank Economic Review, ISSN 0258-6770, E-ISSN 1564-698X, Vol. 29, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2003 Kenya abolished user fees in all government primary schools. We show that this policy contributed to a shift in demand away from free schools, where net enrollment stagnated after 2003, toward fee-charging private schools, where both enrollment and fee levels grew rapidly after 2003. These shifts had mixed distributional consequences. Enrollment by poorer households increased, but segregation between socio-economic groups also increased. We find evidence that the shift in demand toward private schooling was driven by more affluent households who (i) paid higher ex ante fees and thus experienced a larger reduction in school funding, and (ii) exited public schools in reaction to increased enrollment by poorer children. JEL Codes: H52, I22, O15

  • 6.
    Bold, Tessa
    et al.
    Goethe University, Germany.
    Kimenyi, Mwangi
    Mwabu, Germano
    Sandefur, Justin
    Can Free Provision Reduce Demand for Public Services? Evidence from Kenyan Education2014In: World Bank Economic Review, ISSN 0258-6770, E-ISSN 1564-698XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2003 Kenya abolished user fees in all government primary schools. We show that this policy contributed to a shift in demand away from free schools, where net enrollment stagnated after 2003, toward fee-charging private schools, where both enrollment and fee levels grew rapidly after 2003. These shifts had mixed distributional consequences. Enrollment by poorer households increased, but segregation between socio-economic groups also increased. We find evidence that the shift in demand toward private schooling was driven by more affluent households who (i) paid higher ex ante fees and thus experienced a larger reduction in school funding, and (ii) exited public schools in reaction to increased enrollment by poorer children.

  • 7.
    Bold, Tessa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies. Goethe University Frankfurt.
    Kimenyi, Mwangi S.
    Sandefur, Justin
    Public and Private Provision of Education in Kenya2013In: Journal of African Economies, ISSN 0963-8024, E-ISSN 1464-3723, Vol. 22, p. ii39-ii56Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the past decade, Kenyas traditional model of local, community finance and management of schools has been crowded out from two directions. First, the Kenyan government has expanded its role in public education, through free provision of primary and, more recently, secondary education. Second, the market for private, fee-charging schools has grown rapidly, particularly at the primary level. We examine whether the abolition of fees presented a trade-off between quantity and quality in primary schools, comparing Kenyas experience with others in the region. We examine the superior performance of private primary schools and elite, public secondary schools in examinations and summarise research testing whether this performance reflects causal returns to these school types. Finally, we explore the potential implications of expanding public finance for private schooling or incorporating organisational structures from the private sector into public schools, making particular note of possible general equilibrium effects and political economy constraints to doing so.

  • 8.
    Bold, Tessa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies. Goethe University Frankfurt.
    Svensson, Jakob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Policies and Institutions for Effective Service Delivery: The Need of a Microeconomic and Micropolitical Approach2013In: Journal of African Economies, ISSN 0963-8024, E-ISSN 1464-3723, Vol. 22, p. ii16-ii38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The recent political economy literature on institutions for growth views low and ineffective spending on service delivery sectors as a symptom of the underlying institutional environment. But if institutions are the outcome of decisions by policymakers and serve the purpose of benefitting some at the cost of the majority, what can be done to facilitate empowerment and thus the development of inclusive political institutions? In this paper, we argue that a microeconomic approach that explicitly takes political and bureaucratic incentives and constraints into account provides a fruitful, and complementary, way forward. We discuss several promising lines of research.

1 - 8 of 8
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