A new working paper has been added to the NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series. Written by Wayne Aaron Sandholtz this paper examines the electoral effects of a randomized Liberian school reform which increased student learning but antagonized teachers.
The politics of policy reform: Experimental evidence from Liberia
Wayne Aaron Sandholtz (Nova School of Business and Economics and NOVAFRICA)
Public service reform often entails broad benefits for society and concentrated costs for interest groups. Do the electoral benefits outweigh the costs for politicians who implement reform? This paper examines the electoral effects of a randomized Liberian school reform which increased student learning but antagonized teachers. The policy reduced ruling party vote share by 3 percentage points (10%). It also reduced teachers’ job satisfaction by 0.18s and political involvement by 0.22s. I use the evaluation’s pairwise randomization to show that the effect on vote share was positively correlated with student learning, and negatively correlated with teacher political disengagement.
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