Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 20 No. 1 (Winter 2006)


Quick Tools:

Print Article Summary
Export Citation
Sign up for Email Alerts Follow us on Twitter


JEP - All Issues

Addressing Absence

Article Citation

Banerjee, Abhijit, and Esther Duflo. 2006. "Addressing Absence." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20(1): 117-132.

DOI: 10.1257/089533006776526139


Absent providers are a major problem both for public health facilities and primary schools in many developing countries. For example, in India, absence rates for teachers are over 24 percent, and for health providers they are over 40 percent. This paper presents evidence on a number of innovative strategies to reduce absenteeism in government- and nongovernmental organization-run schools and health facilities. These strategies were implemented in Kenya and India over the past few years and have been evaluated using the randomized evaluation methodology. The strategies involved alternative levers to fight absence. Some tried to improve incentives for providers, either through rewards and punishments implemented by external monitors, or through facilitating a more active involvement of those who expect to benefit from the service. Others are based on the idea that the providers are discouraged by the lack of interest among the potential beneficiaries in what they are being offered; these strategies aim at increasing the demand for the services as a way of putting more pressure on the providers. The results of these efforts, taken together, shed light not only on ways to address the problem of absence in the public sector, but also on the underlying reasons for this phenomenon.

Article Full-Text Access

Full-text Article (Complimentary)


Banerjee, Abhijit
Duflo, Esther


View Comments on This Article (0) | Login to post a comment

Journal of Economic Perspectives

Quick Tools:

Sign up for Email Alerts

Follow us on Twitter

Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)


JEP - All Issues

Virtual Field Journals

AEA Member Login:

AEAweb | AEA Journals | Contact Us