DVD-based Distance-learning Program for University Entrance Exams: RCT Experiments in Rural Bangladesh

Dr. Hisaki Kono

11:00 am, Monday, 5-9-2016
Hall H.001, UEH School of Economics


In contrast to the remarkable progress in developing countries in improving basic education, access to higher education in many countries remains limited, especially in rural areas where the sup- ply quality is inadequate. We evaluate a DVD-based distance- learning program in rural Bangladesh, targeted at students aiming to take university entrance tests. We conducted two experiments: one to evaluate the effect of the distance-learning program and the second to determine the demand and price sensitivity. Our first experiment shows that the DVD-based distance-learning pro- gram has a considerable positive effect on the probability of students passing entrance exams. This effect does not depend on cognitive scores, but does depend on non-cognitive attributes – especially on self-control abilities – indicating the importance of a commitment mechanism. In the second experiment, we offered a randomized subsidy to interested participants. The uptake decision is price- sensitive, although the price sensitivity is not correlated with stu- dents’ past academic performance or their socio-economic status, suggesting that imposing price on such a program may not dispro-portionately exclude poor students.

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Dr. Hisaki Hono is working at Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University, Japan as an associate professor of economics. His research interests include development economics, microeconometrics, contract theory, experimental economics, poverty reduction, microfinance, and aid effectiveness. He has some publications from Journal of Development Economics, Review of Development Economics, Developing Economies, Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, and Japanese Economic Review. Dr. Hono graduated PhD in economics from University of Tokyo in 2006.

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