Incentivizing Textbooks for Self-Study: Experimental Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo

Resource type
Report
Authors/contributors
Title
Incentivizing Textbooks for Self-Study: Experimental Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo
Abstract
We use a randomized field experiment to test whether a new self-study routine, designed to encourage the use of textbooks at home, can improve student achievement. In treatment schools, students and teachers were incentivized to adopt the routine through, respectively, a public display of stars (one for each time they took home books) and financial incentives (to compensate for potential loss or damage of textbooks). French language test scores improved in the treatment schools by 0.319σ relative to the control group, but no impact on math test scores was found. The intervention also raised the average likelihood of a student taking the high-stake end of the year national exam by 10 percentage points, without a negative impact on average exam results. The routine increased students’ job and secondary school aspirations and their perceptions of the usefulness of textbooks, likely pathways for the main results. The low-cost routine relied on a more efficient usage of existing basic educational material, making it feasible also in a very resource constrained and fragile setting. Our findings highlight the critical role of self-learning to promote student achievement and suggest that a simple ‘textbook at home’ routine may compensate for lower quality teaching in class.
Date
May 2019
Short Title
Incentivizing Textbooks for Self-Study
Accessed
18/04/2022, 10:47
Library Catalog
Extra
Publisher: Academy of Management
Citation
Falisse, J.-B., Huysentruyt, M., & Olofsgård, A. (2019). Incentivizing Textbooks for Self-Study: Experimental Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo. https://novafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/textbook-paper-May-19-2019-final-Lisbon-draft-clean.pdf