Using a specially designed lab-type experiment conducted in the field, we compare the willingness of head teachers, centrally appointed public servants, and community representatives to hold Ugandan primary school teachers to account. We find no difference in the willingness of centrally appointed public servants and community representatives. However, head teachers are significantly less willing to punish teachers whose performance falls 20 to 40 percent below a generally accepted benchmark. In addition, head teachers are twice as likely to punish teachers who “over-perform”, a behaviour akin to punishing rate-busters.
Barr, A.; Zeitlin, A. Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability. CSAE Working Paper WPS/2011-13, CSAE Economics Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (2011) 21 pp.