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American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 5 (August 2011)

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Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya

Article Citation

Duflo, Esther, Pascaline Dupas, and Michael Kremer. 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya." American Economic Review, 101(5): 1739-74.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.5.1739

Abstract

To the extent that students benefit from high-achieving peers, tracking will help strong students and hurt weak ones. However, all students may benefit if tracking allows teachers to better tailor their instruction level. Lower-achieving pupils are particularly likely to benefit from tracking when teachers have incentives to teach to the top of the distribution. We propose a simple model nesting these effects and test its implications in a randomized tracking experiment conducted with 121 primary schools in Kenya. While the direct effect of high-achieving peers is positive, tracking benefited lower-achieving pupils indirectly by allowing teachers to teach to their level. (JEL I21, J45, O15)

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Authors

Duflo, Esther (MIT)
Dupas, Pascaline (UCLA and BREAD, Duke U)
Kremer, Michael (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

I21: Analysis of Education
J45: Public Sector Labor Markets
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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