Redistributing teachers using local transfers
with Athisii Kayina, Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay, and Anugula N. Reddy
World Development (2018), 110: 333-344. PDF
In this paper we show that local redistribution of educational resources via teacher transfers between neighboring public schools can improve equity in access to teachers. Transfers from teacher surplus schools to deficit schools within a 10 km radius in Haryana, a state of India for which we have geo-coded location of schools in 2013, enables 19 percent of deficit schools to meet the minimum requirement. We use the mandated norms in the Right to Education Act in India, to define deficit and surplus schools. In the process we also provide a characterization of schools that are in deficit and those in surplus. We find that connectedness, the social composition of the enrolled students, the income of the neighborhood are important determinants of a school being in deficit. Surplus schools mirror the results on deficit, but not always so: they are far more heterogenous, leading to possibilities that they may in fact be no different than some low shortage deficit schools. Keeping in the background this heterogeneity in surplus schools, we design local transfers between schools and evaluate them on how well they match characteristics of the donor and recipient schools. The chosen algorithm is compared to another transfer rule that reduces the variance of shortages across schools and is found to be better in matching characteristics, that is, the donor and recipient schools are, on an average, matched in characteristics: in terms of the development of the region, its rural/urban location, connectivity and school characteristics. A comparison of transfers that follow our redistribution rule to transfers resulting from an actual transfer policy shows that while our rule removes deficits in rural areas, the actual transfers favored more developed regions.