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ERIC Number: ED519072
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 182
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-4293-0
Essays in Development Economics and the Economics of Education
Blimpo, Moussa Pouguinimpo
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University
Education is a powerful tool to improve lives and enhance the prospect of innovation and development of nations. While primary school enrollment has increased considerably over the past few decades in Sub-Saharan Africa, learning and the retention rate have remained low. The first two chapters of this dissertation analyze two dimensions in a bid to improve learning: Students incentives to learn and the parents interest and participation in the school affairs. In the first chapter, I use theoretical analysis and a field randomized experiment to assess the impact of monetary incentives on students performance. I find that student performance and learning can be improved substantially by providing them direct short-term incentive. This finding is theoretically grounded on the fact that students might not internalize all the future payoffs of acquiring human capital through education. In the second chapter, a comprehensive survey and test score data from a representative sample of Benin's primary schools were used to assess the impact of PTAs on the schools and students performance outcomes. We find that a well structured and well functioning PTAs have a substantially large and statistically significant positive impact on students' performance. This result is obtained after controlling for other key contributing factors to the students performance and using the instrumental variable technique to determine the causal relation. The third chapter tackles the question of reliance on informal institutions and norms for economics activities in many developing countries. In the motorcycle taxi market in Sub-Saharan Africa two contracts co-exist between owners and conductor. One of the contracts is a seemingly sub-optimal, and I show that an element of trust between owners and the conductors can explain that deviation. It is often argued that trust is good for economic relationship. Our results suggest that in an asymmetric information setting, relying solely on trust may be damaging for economic activities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Benin