The Impact of Decentralized Decision Making on Student Outcomes and Teacher Quality: Evidence from Colombia
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... bedingungen die in der dort genannten Lizenz gewährten Nutzungsrechte. work is licensed under a Creative Commons IGO 3.0 Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC-IGO BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/igo/ legalcode) and may be reproduced with attribution to the IDB and for any non-commercial purpose, as provided below. No derivative work is allowed. Any dispute related to the use of the works of the IDB that cannot be settled amicably shall be submitted to arbitration pursuant to the UNCITRAL rules. The use of the IDB's name for any purpose other than for attribution, and the use of IDB's logo shall be subject to a separate written license agreement between the IDB and the user and is not authorized as part of this CC-IGO license. Abstract To contribute to the debate about decentralization of education management, in this paper, we take advantage of the arbitrary rule used in Colombia to define the municipalities that can autonomously manage schools, to evaluate through a Regression Discontinuity methodology the effect of municipal's autonomy on student achievement and teacher characteristics, using as a counterfactual schools located in municipalities that just missed the population criteria, schools that are managed by the departments. Our results suggest that schools in municipalities that became autonomous in terms of their public education administration, have on average, a lower proportion of low-performing students, than similar schools in municipalities that do not manage their schools, especially in 9 th grade. Moreover, when analyzing the teachers´ characteristics as a channel to explain academic performance, we found that teachers in certified municipalities score on average, 0.5 to 1 standard deviation higher on the mandatory competency test to become a permanent public-school teacher.