Research

Isaac M. Mbiti

Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

My main interests are in the field of economic development with a focus on human capital formation. I am also interested in labor economics and demography. Below are a links to some of my research.

Published Papers:

"Can Patients' Reports Improve Health Providers' Performance? Lab Experimental Evidence from Kenya" With Danila Serra (Forthcoming, Experimental Economics)

Can School Rankings Improve Performance? Evidence from a Nationwide Reform in Tanzania” with Jacobus Cilliers and Andrew Zeitlin. (forthcoming, Journal of Human Resources)

"Teacher Opinions on Performance Pay: Evidence from Tanzania” with Youdi Schipper. Journal of African Economies, Volume 30, Issue 1, January 2021, Pages 55-80

"Inputs, Incentives, and Complementarities in Primary Education: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania" with Karthik Muralidharan, Mauricio Romero, Youdi Schipper, Rakesh Rajani and Constantine Manda. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 134, Issue 3, August 2019, Pages 1627–1673.

"The Need for Accountability in Education in Developing Countries" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2016, 30(3): 109-132

"Mobile Banking: The Impact of M-Pesa in Kenya” with David Weil, in African Successes, Volume III, Modernization and Development edited by Sebastian Edwards, Simon Johnson and David Weil, University of Chicago Press 2015

"Effects of School Quality on Student Achievement: Discontinuity Evidence from Kenya" with Adrienne M. Lucas. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, July 2014

“The Home Economics of E-Money: Velocity,Cash Management, and Discount Rates of M-Pesa Users” With David Weil, America Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, May 2013

"Does Free Primary Education Narrow Gender Differences in Schooling Outcomes? Evidence from Kenya” with Adrienne M. Lucas. Journal of African Economies, October, 2012: 1-32.

"Access, Sorting, and Achievement: the Short-Run Effects of Free Primary Education in Kenya” with Adrienne M. Lucas. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 4(4): 226-253. 2012

“The Determinants and Consequences of School Choice Errors in Kenya,” with Adrienne M. Lucas , American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, May 2012, 102(3): 283-288.

"The Economic Impact of Mobile Phones” with Jenny C. Aker, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2010, 24(3): 207–32 (Published version of the Article can be accessed here)

Working Papers:

"Designing Effective Teacher Performance Pay Programs: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania" with Mauricio Romero and Youdi Schipper (Under review)

"The Apprenticeship-to-Work Transition: Experimental Evidence from Ghana" with Morgan Hardy, Jamie McCasland, and Isabelle Salcher

Policy Reports

"Access and Quality in the Kenyan Education System: A Review of the Progress, Challenges and Potential Solutions" with Rachel Glennerster, Michael Kremer, and Kudzai Takavarasha. Report for Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, May 2011

"Youth and Livelihoods: A Review of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Programs for Youth” with Jamie McCasland and Holly Reed. International Rescue Committee, New York, 2011

Works In Progress:

"Vocational Education in Kenya” with Joan Hicks, Michael Kremer, and Edward Miguel

"Increasing the Development Impact of Migrant Remittances: A Field Experiment Among Kenyan Migrants in the USA” with Dean Yang

"Kenya: Study of private primary schools and early childhood education centers" with Anthony Keats, Michael Kremer, and Owen Ozier

"Improving STEM learning" with Alejandro Ganimian