Dr. Tahir Andrabi’s Research Aims to Improve Education in Pakistan Through Systematic Information

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 5am

Dr. Tahir Andrabi, Dean School of Education’s collaborative paper titled, Report Cards: The Impact of Providing School and Child Test Scores on Educational Markets has been published in the June 2017 issue of the American Economic Review. The research proved that asymmetric information is extremely significant in improving the educational level in the schools of Pakistan.

That information matters, comes out as the crux of this experiential study. Dr. Tahir Andrabi, Dr. Jishnu Das, and Dr. Asim Ijaz Khwaja, the three researchers examined informational issues in their research paper, for which they ran an experiment in 112 Pakistani villages under the Learning and Educational Achievements in Pakistan Schools Initiative and came to the conclusion that information changes everything.

The researchers first gave academic tests to primary school students, sent report cards to the students’ homes, and re-tested the students a year later. Each report card included the child’s score and the average scores of each school in the village. The results showed that a small amount of basic, transparent information can have a widespread impact on an entire educational system.

The results of the research showed that the randomly selected half of the sample villages who received report cards led to an increase in test scores by 0.11 standard deviations, decrease of private school fees by 17 percent, and increase in primary enrolment by 4.5 percent. Interestingly, the information provision also led to an increase in government school test scores.

The study is a landmark achievement in the ecosystem of educational research and will help improve the education system greatly.