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Thesis: 'Three Essays on Bureaucracy and Public Schools in Rural India'
What explains the variation in the quality of education provision in public schools across India’s rural districts despite both policy content and formal organisational structures being constant? By analysing learning outcomes of government schools across hundreds of India’s rural districts, the proposed PhD aims to disentangle the role of individual mid-level bureaucrats, district-level bureaucratic units, and the surrounding social and political environment in shaping a district’s performance in education provision. Through a combination of causal inference based on cross-sectional outcome data and in-depth process tracing of exceptionally well and poorly performing districts, it sheds light on what determines whether children can read and write when their free and compulsory schooling period ends at grade eight.
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