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SERC/Urban and Spatial Programme Discussion Paper
Whether to Hire Local Contract Teachers? Trade-off Between Skills and Preferences in India
Sonja Fagernäs and Panu Pelkonen
July 2011
Paper No' SERCDP0083:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: H75; J24; J41; J45

Tags: discrete choice experiment; education; para-teachers; preferences; skills

Whether to hire teachers locally on a contract basis, or via competitive examinations as government officials, is a major policy question in developing countries. We use a Discrete Choice Experiment to assess the job preferences of 700 future elementary school teachers in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The students have been selected using either competitive examination or from a pool of locally hired contract teachers. Skills in English, Arithmetic and Vocabulary are also tested. We find a trade-off between skills and preferences, as students hired using competitive examination have higher skills, but prefer posts in less remote regions.