Working Paper

19/027

Can Public Rankings Improve School Performance? Evidence from a Nationwide Reform in Tanzania

Authors

Image of Jacobus Cilliers

Jacobus Cilliers

RISE Tanzania

Georgetown University

Image of Isaac Mbiti

Isaac Mbiti

RISE Tanzania

University of Virginia

Image of Andrew Zeitlin

Andrew Zeitlin

RISE Tanzania

Georgetown University

Published journal version

 

In 2013, Tanzania introduced “Big Results Now in Education”, a low-stakes accountability program that published both nationwide and within-district school rankings. Using data from the universe of school performance from 2011-2016, we identify the impacts of the reform using a difference-in-differences estimator that exploits the differential pressure exerted on schools at the top and bottom of their respective district rankings. We find that BRN improved learning outcomes for schools in the bottom two deciles of their districts. However, the program also led schools to strategically exclude students from the terminal year of primary school.

Citation:

Cilliers, J., Mbiti, I., and Zeitlin, A. 2019. Can Public Rankings Improve School Performance? Evidence from a Nationwide Reform in Tanzania. RISE Working Paper Series. 19/027. https://doi.org/10.35489/BSG-RISE-WP_2019/027