17 May 2010

What is better than deworming for increasing school student attendance?

For me this was the stand-out chart from Esther Duflo’s recent TED talk. Apparently providing information on the returns to education does even better than deworming for increasing school attendance.

Student Attendance

I am somewhat surprised that there haven’t been more efforts to replicate the Kenya deworming finding, which is quite old now (noting that there is one study on India here – but what about other African countries?). A key defence of the randomistas position is that external validity can be improved by replication of findings in different settings. The incentives probably aren’t there for academics to do boring replication studies, but surely there is an incentive for donors to want to fund such studies?


Matt said...

.... except that the intervention is basically lying to people. It's been done before - there's little (and in this case no) correction for endogeneity in producing the "returns to education."

"First, the “statistics” intervention sought to inform parents of the average returns to education,
calculated from the nationwide population."

Thus they are likely convincing a lot of people to get schooling who have much, much lower returns. i.e., convincing the poor to make a bad investment.

We really need to get out of this partial-equilibrium hole that RCTs are driving us into (this coming from someone currently working on a RCT!)

J said...

There's this? http://dewormtheworld.org/

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