School grants and education quality: experimental evidence from Senegal

Author(s): Carneiro, Pedro; Koussihouèdé, Oswald; Lahire, Nathalie; Meghir, Costas; Mommaerts, Corina

Date: 2020

Pages: p. 28-51


The effect of increasing school resources on educational outcomes is a central issue in the debate on improving school quality. In this paper we use a randomized experiment to analyse the impact of a school grants programme in Senegal, which allowed schools to apply for funding for pedagogic improvements of their choice. We find positive effects on test scores at lower grades that persist for at least two years. These effects are concentrated among schools that focused funds on human resources improvements rather than school materials, reinforcing that teachers and principals are a central determinant of school quality.

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