WorldCat Identities

Muralidharan, Karthik

Overview
Works: 21 works in 61 publications in 1 language and 342 library holdings
Genres: Conference papers and proceedings 
Roles: Author, Editor
Classifications: HB31, 338.954
Publication Timeline
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Most widely held works by Karthik Muralidharan
The fiscal cost of weak governance : evidence from teacher absence in India by Karthik Muralidharan( )

7 editions published between 2014 and 2016 in English and held by 65 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We construct a new nationally-representative panel dataset of schools across 1297 villages in India and find that the large investments in public primary education over the past decade have led to substantial improvements in input-based measures of school quality, including infrastructure, pupil-teacher ratios, and monitoring. However, teacher absence continues to be high, with 23.6 percent of teachers in public schools across rural India being absent during unannounced visits to schools. Improvements in school infrastructure and service conditions are not correlated with lower teacher absence. We find two robust correlations in the nationally-representative panel data that corroborate findings from smaller-scale experiments. First, reductions in pupil-teacher ratios are correlated with increased teacher absence. Second, increases in the frequency of inspections are strongly correlated with lower teacher absence. We estimate that the fiscal cost of teacher absence in India is around $1.5 billion per year, and that investing in better governance by hiring more inspectors to increase the frequency of monitoring could be over ten times more cost effective at increasing teacher-student contact time (net of teacher absence) than hiring more teachers
Quality and accountability in healthcare delivery : audit-study evidence from primary care in India by Jishnu Das( )

7 editions published in 2015 in English and held by 45 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We present the first direct evidence on the relative quality of public and private healthcare in a low-income setting, using a unique set of audit studies. We sent standardized (fake) patients to rural primary care providers in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, and recorded the quality of care provided and prices charged in each interaction. We report three main findings. First, most private providers lacked formal medical training, but they spent more time with patients and completed more essential checklist items than public providers, and were equally likely to provide a correct treatment. Second, we compare the performance of qualified public doctors across their public and private practices, and find that the same doctors exerted higher effort and were more likely to provide a correct treatment in their private practices. Third, in the private sector, we find that prices charged are positively correlated with provider effort and correct treatment, but also with unnecessary treatments. In the public sector, we find no correlation between provider salaries and any measure of quality. We develop a simple theoretical framework to interpret our results and show that in settings with low levels of effort in the public sector, the benefits of higher diagnostic effort in the private sector may outweigh the costs of market incentives to over treat. These differences in provider effort may partly explain the dominant market share of fee-charging private providers even in the presence of a system of free public healthcare
General equilibrium effects of (improving) public employment programs : experimental evidence from India by Karthik Muralidharan( )

5 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 43 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Public employment programs play a large role in many developing countries' anti-poverty strategies, but their net impact on the incomes of the poor will depend on both direct program earnings as well as indirect effects through changes induced in market wages and employment. We estimate this composite effect, exploiting a large-scale randomized experiment across 157 sub-districts and 19 million people that substantially improved the implementation of India's rural employment guarantee scheme. Despite no changes in government expenditure on the program itself, the earnings of low-income households rose 13%, driven overwhelmingly by market (90%) as opposed to program earnings (10%). Low-skilled wages increased 6% and days without paid work fell 7%, while migration and prices were unaffected. Effects on wages, employment, and income also spilled over into neighboring sub-districts, and estimates of program impact that adjust for these spillovers are substantially larger, typically double the unadjusted magnitudes. These results suggest that well-implemented public works programs can be highly effective at reducing poverty. They also highlight the importance of general equilibrium effects in program evaluation, and the feasibility of studying them using large-scale experiments
Experimentation at scale by Karthik Muralidharan( )

5 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 41 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper makes the case for greater use of randomized experiments "at scale." We review various critiques of experimental program evaluation in developing countries, and discuss how experimenting at scale along three specific dimensions - the size of the sampling frame, the number of units treated, and the size of the unit of randomization - can help alleviate them. We find that program evaluation randomized controlled trials published in top journals over the last 15 years have typically been "small" in these senses, but also identify a number of examples - including from our own work - demonstrating that experimentation at much larger scales is both feasible and valuable
Double for nothing? : experimental evidence on the impact of an unconditional teacher salary increase on student performance in Indonesia by Joppe De Ree( )

4 editions published between 2015 and 2016 in English and held by 32 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

How does a large unconditional increase in salary affect employee performance in the public sector? We present the first experimental evidence on this question to date in the context of a unique policy change in Indonesia that led to a permanent doubling of base teacher salaries. Using a large-scale randomized experiment across a representative sample of Indonesian schools that affected more than 3,000 teachers and 80,000 students, we find that the doubling of pay significantly improved teacher satisfaction with their income, reduced the incidence of teachers holding outside jobs, and reduced self-reported financial stress. Nevertheless, after two and three years, the doubling in pay led to no improvements in measures of teacher effort or student learning outcomes, suggesting that the salary increase was a transfer to teachers with no discernible impact on student outcomes. Thus, contrary to the predictions of various efficiency wage models of employee behavior (including gift-exchange, reciprocity, and reduced shirking), as well as those of a model where effort on pro-social tasks is a normal good with a positive income elasticity, we find that unconditional increases in salaries of incumbent teachers had no meaningful positive impact on student learning
Disrupting education? : experimental evidence on technology-aided instruction in India by Karthik Muralidharan( )

4 editions published in 2016 in English and held by 32 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

India Policy Forum by India Policy Forum( )

3 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 19 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Inputs, incentives, and complementarities in education : experimental evidence from Tanzania by Isaac M Mbiti( )

2 editions published in 2018 in English and held by 15 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The idea that complementarities across policies can yield increasing returns from joint implementation has been posited in several economic settings. Yet there is limited, well-identified evidence of such complementarities in practice. We present results from a randomized experiment across a representative sample of 350 schools in Tanzania that studied the impact of providing schools with (a) unconditional school grants, (b) bonus payments to teachers based on student performance, and (c) both of the above. At the end of two years, we find (a) no impact on student test scores from providing school grants, (b) some evidence of positive effects from offering performance-linked bonuses to teachers, and (c) significant positive effects on learning 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 accounting for complementarities between inputs and incentives could substantially improve the effectiveness of public spending on education
Improving last-mile service delivery using phone-based monitoring by Karthik Muralidharan( )

2 editions published in 2018 in English and held by 13 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Improving "last mile" public-service delivery is a recurring challenge in developing countries. Could the rapid adoption of mobile phones provide a simple, cost-effective means to do so? We evaluate the impact of a phone-based monitoring system on improving the delivery of a program that transferred nearly a billion dollars to farmers in the Indian state of Telangana, using an at-scale experiment randomized across 5.7 million farmers. A randomly selected sample of officials were told that a representative sample of beneficiaries in their jurisdiction would be called to measure the quality of program implementation. This simple announcement led to a 1.5% increase in the number of farmers receiving their benefits, with a 3.3% increase among farmers in the bottom quartile of landholdings. The program was highly cost-effective, with a cost of 3.6 cents for each additional dollar delivered
School inputs, household substitution, and test scores by Jishnu Das( )

5 editions published between 2011 and 2013 in English and held by 9 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

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 test scores. Our results suggest that naïve estimates of public education spending on learning outcomes that do not account for optimal household responses are likely to be considerably biased if used to estimate parameters of an education production function
India Policy Forum by India Policy Forum( Book )

2 editions published in 2016 in English and held by 6 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Essays on the economics of education in developing countries by Karthik Muralidharan( )

3 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 4 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The third essay (joint with Venkatesh Sundararaman) studies the impact of teacher performance pay on student learning outcomes using a large-scale randomized evaluation of a teacher incentive program (which paid teachers bonuses based on average improvement of their students' test scores) in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Students in incentive schools performed significantly better than those in control schools by 0.19 and 0.12 standard deviations in math and language tests respectively. They scored significantly higher on "conceptual" as well as "mechanical" components of the tests suggesting that the gains in test scores represented an actual increase in learning outcomes. Incentive schools also performed better on subjects for which there were no incentives. We find no significant difference in the effectiveness of group versus individual teacher incentives. Incentive schools performed significantly better than other randomly-chosen schools that received additional schooling inputs of a similar value
Teacher Opinions on Performance Pay Evidence from India by Karthik Muralidharan( )

2 editions published in 2011 in Undetermined and English and held by 3 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The practical viability of performance-based pay programs for teachers depends critically on the extent of support the idea will receive from teachers. We present evidence on teacher opinions with regard to performance-based pay from teacher interviews conducted in the context of an experimental evaluation of a program that provided performance-based bonuses to teachers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. We report four main findings in this paper: (1) over 80% of teachers had a favorable opinion about the idea of linking a component of pay to measures of performance, (2) exposure to an actual incentive program increased teacher support for the idea, (3) teacher support declines with age, experience, training, and base pay, and (4) the extent of teachers' stated ex ante support for performance-linked pay (over a series of mean-preserving spreads of pay) is positively correlated with their ex post performance as measured by estimates of teacher value addition. This suggests that teachers are aware of their own effectiveness and that implementing a performance-linked pay program could not only have broad-based support among teachers but also attract more effective teachers into the teaching profession
The Impact of Diagnostic Feedback to Teachers on Student Learning Experimental Evidence from India by Karthik Muralidharan( )

2 editions published in 2010 in Undetermined and English and held by 3 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

We present experimental evidence on the impact of a programme that provided low-stakes diagnostic tests and feedback to teachers, and low-stakes monitoring of classroom processes across a representative set of schools in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. We find teachers in treatment schools exerting more effort when observed in the classroom but students in these schools do no better on independently-administered tests than students in schools that did not receive the programme. This suggests that though teachers in the programme schools worked harder while being observed, there was no impact of the feedback and monitoring on student learning outcomes
School Inputs, Household Substitution, and Test Scores. Nber WorkingPaper No. 16830 by Jishnu Das( Book )

1 edition published in 2011 in English and held by 3 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

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 test scores. Our results suggest that naive estimates of public education spending on learning outcomes that do not account for optimal household responses are likely to be considerably biased if used to estimate parameters of an education production function
Teacher Incentives in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence fromIndia. Working Paper 2008-13 by Karthik Muralidharan( Book )

1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 3 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Performance pay for teachers is frequently suggested as a way of improving educational outcomes in schools, but the empirical evidence to date on its effectiveness is limited and mixed. We present results from a randomized evaluation of a teacher incentive program implemented across a 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). Students in incentive schools performed significantly better than those in control schools by 0.19 and 0.12 standard deviations in math and language tests respectively. They scored significantly higher on "conceptual" as well as "mechanical" components of the tests suggesting that the gains in test scores represented an actual increase in learning outcomes. Incentive schools also performed better on subjects for which there were no incentives. We find no significant difference in the effectiveness of group versus individual teacher incentives. Incentive schools performed significantly better than other randomly-chosen schools that received additional schooling inputs of a similar value. Appended are: (1) Project Timeline and Activities; and (2) Project Team, Test Administration, and Robustness to Cheating. (Contains 17 tables, 6 figures, and 53 footnotes.)
India policy forum by Suman K Bery( )

1 edition published in 2017 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Examining India's economic reforms and its economic transition using policy-relevant empirical research
Long-Term Effects of Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidencefrom India by Karthik Muralidharan( Book )

2 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

While the idea of teacher performance-pay is increasingly making its way into policy, the evidence on the effectiveness of such programs is both limited and mixed. The central questions in the literature on teacher performance pay to date have been whether teacher performance pay based on test scores can improve student achievement, and whether there are negative consequences of teacher incentives based on student test scores? The literature on both of these questions highlight the importance of not just evaluating teacher incentive programs that are designed by administrators, but of using economic theory to design systems of teacher performance pay that are likely to induce higher effort from teachers towards improving human capital and less likely to be susceptible to gaming. Also, while there is a growing body of high-quality empirical studies on the impact of teacher performance pay on education quality, most of these evaluations stop after two or three years, and so there is no good evidence on longer-term impacts (both positive and negative) of teacher performance pay on students who have completed most of their education under such a system. In this paper, the author contributes towards filling this gap with results from a five-year long randomized evaluation of group and individual teacher performance pay programs implemented across a large representative sample of government-run rural primary schools in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (ap). The main questions addressed in this paper are: 1) What is the impact of teacher performance pay (implemented for five years) on student test scores at various points of program exposure? 2) Are there any negative consequences of the teacher performance pay program? 3) What is the relative effect of group and individual teacher incentive programs? There are three main results in this paper. First, the individual teacher performance pay program had a large and significant impact on student learning outcomes over all durations of student exposure to the program. Students who had completed their entire five years of primary school education under the program scored 0.54 and 0.35 standard deviations (sd) higher than those in control schools in math and language tests respectively. These are large effects corresponding to approximately 20 and 14 percentile point improvements at the median of a normal distribution, and are larger than the effects found in most other education interventions in developing countries (see Dhaliwal et al. 2011). Second, the results suggest that these test score gains represent genuine additions to human capital as opposed to reflecting only "teaching to the test". Students in individual teacher incentive schools score significantly better on both non-repeat as well as repeat questions; on both multiple-choice and free-response questions; and on questions designed to test conceptual understanding as well as questions that could be answered through rote learning. Most importantly, these students also perform significantly better on subjects for which there were "no incentives"--Scoring 0.52 sd and 0.30 sd higher than students in control schools on tests in science and social studies (though the bonuses were paid only for gains in math and language). There was also no differential attrition of students across treatment and control groups and no evidence to suggest any adverse consequences of the programs. Third, the authors find that individual teacher incentives significantly outperform group teacher incentives over the longer time horizon though they were equally effective in the first year of the experiment. Students in group incentive schools score better than those in control schools over most durations of exposure, but these are not always significant and students who complete five years of primary school under the program do not score significantly higher than those in control schools. However, the variance of student outcomes is lower in the group incentive schools than in the individual incentive schools. The authors measure changes in teacher behavior and the results suggest that the main mechanism for the improved outcomes in incentive schools is not reduced teacher absence, but increased teaching activity conditional on presence. Finally, the authors also measure household responses to the program--for the cohort that was exposed to five years of the program, at the end of five years--and find that there is no significant difference across treatment and control groups in either household spending on education or on time spent studying at home, suggesting that the estimated effects are unlikely to be confounded by differential household responses across treatment and control groups over time
School inputs, household substitution, and test scores( )

1 edition published in 2011 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

India Policy Forum by India Policy Forum( Book )

1 edition published in 2018 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

 
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