Andrew Zeitlin

Andrew Zeitlin is the former Lead Academic for IGC Rwanda.

Andrew Zeitlin is an Assistant Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. His research uses theory-driven field and laboratory experimental methods, together with the collection of observational data, to study the microeconomic mechanisms of economic development. The focus of this research has been on two broad themes, with applications both within and outside of development economics: individual decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, and the interplay between social preferences and external incentives in workplace behaviour. Andrew’s recent projects have applied these themes to questions of immediate policy relevance to economic development in Africa, including agricultural technology adoption in Ghana, health insurance in Kenya, public service delivery in Uganda, and property rights in urban Tanzania.

Content by Andrew Zeitlin
  • Blog post

    Selection and incentive effects of teacher performance contracts in Rwanda

    Pay for performance can improve student learning without negative impacts on the type of teacher that gets recruited or retained Student learning in primary school lags enrolment gains across many low-income countries (Angrist et al. 2021). Teachers are key to student attainment (Chetty, Friedman and Rockoff 2014a,b, Bau and Das 2020, Buhl Wiggers et al. 2020) and...

    18 Feb 2022 | Clare Leaver, Owen Ozier, Pieter Serneels, Andrew Zeitlin

  • Project

    Scoping paper and support for REB teacher recruitment process

    The Rwanda Education Board will be managing the recruitment and deployment of teachers nationwide, as previously these decisions were managed by local (district) governments. This provides an opportunity to address key sources of inefficiency that are typical of human resource challenges in civil services around the developing world including high levels of churn, low...

    13 Feb 2020 | Andrew Zeitlin

  • Project

    Incubation of capabilities to run centralised assignment mechanisms in Rwanda: A Prototype for the case of teacher assignment

    Effective deployment of skilled and motivated teachers can play a crucial role in ultimately fostering learning and as a consequence economic growth, reducing teacher attrition and turnover rates, and increasing teacher satisfaction and performance. The literature on matching has studied many of the specific challenges related to the teacher deployment problem, and...

    10 Dec 2019 | Christoper Neilson, Andrew Zeitlin, Felipe Saint-Jean

  • Data Item

    Data: Economic impact of urban property rights in Tanzania: The role of infrastructure

    While multiple studies have shown that a woman’s control over land is positively associated with bargaining power outcomes, few have succeeded in highlighting successful methods for increasing this control. We report on a policy experiment in an unplanned settlement in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that provided access to formal land titles to informal settlers at randomized...

    28 Feb 2019

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Improving teacher management and professional development: A survey of the policy landscape in Rwanda

    An important policy question in Rwanda is how can schools attract, motivate, develop, and retain skilled teachers who will deliver positive learning outcomes. The centralisation of the hiring and teacher allocation process, proposed to take place in the 2018/19 school years, provides an opportunity to address the challenges associated with this policy question. ...

    7 Jan 2019 | Andrew Zeitlin, Jonathan Bower

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Harnessing the potential of ICT for education in Rwanda

    The Government of Rwanda’s Education Sector Strategic Plan describes the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in general as “fundamental” to achieving the socio-economic development outlined in Vision 2050, and its use in education as “critical”. Technology in education has significant potential to increase equality of access to and use of...

    7 Jan 2019 | Andrew Zeitlin, Jonathan Bower

  • Project

    Fiscal impacts of a presumptive tax for microenterprises in Rwanda

    This report examines the impact of the 2012 reform to micro and small enterprise tax law, which created a presumptive ‘flat fee’ regime in both Personal Income Tax (PIT) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT). In this regime, taxpayers whose turnover falls within a given band pay a fixed liability, with a zero marginal tax rate. Subsequent years have seen growth in both...

    9 Nov 2017 | Nada Eissa, Sally Murray, Andrew Zeitlin

  • Project

    Strengthening consumers' participation in VAT compliance strategies in Rwanda

    This project seeks to develop a better understanding of the potential for strengthening consumers’ participation in VAT compliance strategies in Rwanda. This research involves a collaboration with the Rwanda Revenue Authority to investigate how consumer-based enforcement approaches can boost the enforcement capacity of the government.  We will contextualise international...

    25 Oct 2017 | Francois Gerard, Joana Naritomi, Andrew Zeitlin, Anders Jensen

  • Publication - Project Report

    Fiscal impacts of a presumptive tax for microenterprises in Rwanda

    24 Oct 2017 | Nada Eissa, Sally Murray, Andrew Zeitlin

  • Publication - Project Report

    Recruitment, motivation, and retention effects of teacher performance pay

    2 May 2017 | Andrew Zeitlin, Clare Leaver, Pieter Serneels, Owen Ozier

  • Project

    Recruitment, motivation, and retention effects of teacher performance pay

    Skilled and intrinsically motivated personnel are central to state capacity, yet the capability to recruit, elicit effort from, and retain this profile of civil servants remains a challenge in many developing countries. In this project, we ask whether performance contracts for teachers in Rwanda can affect not only the effort provided by existing teachers, but also the...

    17 Mar 2017 | Andrew Zeitlin, Clare Leaver

  • Project

    The impacts of an innovative audit strategy on the amount and incidence of retail tax evasion: Mystery shoppers and electronic billing machines

    Rwanda in 2013 mandated VAT-registered businesses to use certified electronic billing machines (EBMs) with a promise to improve business efficiency and tax compliance. These machines specify the correct tax amount and send data for each transaction in real-time to the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA). Although current data confirms the effectiveness of using EBMs as measured...

    8 Nov 2016 | Nada Eissa, Andrew Zeitlin, Francois Gerard

  • Publication - Project Memo

    Public Sector Performance and Motivation (Project Memo)

    21 Feb 2016 | Andrew Zeitlin, Clare Leaver, Pieter Serneels

  • Project

    Public Sector Performance and Motivation

    Civil servants’ performance contracts (‘imihigo’) are intended to improve the speed and quality of Rwanda’s government programming This project analysed the current imihigo system and makes recommendations for its improvement The researchers recommended designing performance contracts in light of the ‘causal chain’ that will deliver the...

    21 Feb 2016 | Andrew Zeitlin, Clare Leaver, Pieter Serneels

  • Multimedia Item - Audio

    Africa Growth Forum 2015: Andrew Zeitlin

    22 Jul 2015

  • Project

    Evaluation of electronic billing machines: Effectiveness of tax administration

    Increasing domestic revenues is key to reducing reliance on aid but VAT collection in Rwanda has slowed recently This study investigated whether new Electronic Billing Machines (EBMs) could increase VAT receipts The study finds that (government-mandated) EBM usage increases VAT receipts by on average 5.4% The revenue authority are using the study to...

    22 Apr 2015 | Andrew Zeitlin, Nada Eissa

  • Project

    Improving Services Delivery: An Assessment of Absenteeism Data

    Teacher absenteeism remains a serious challenge in Uganda, with estimated rates of absence as high as 27 per cent. Evidence from other countries suggests that a monitoring scheme, combined with bonus payments, could reduce absenteeism, and improve education performance. However, it is unclear what form this scheme should take. Automated monitoring via cameras or punch cards...

    11 Dec 2014 | Jakob Svensson, Andrew Zeitlin, Tessa Bold, Kjetil Bjorvatn

  • Project

    Optimal Design of Mobile Monitoring

    This project is a follow-up project of Improving Services Delivery: An Assessment of Absenteeism Data. Teacher absenteeism remains a serious challenge in Uganda, with estimated rates of absence as high as 27 per cent. Evidence from other countries suggests that a monitoring scheme, combined with bonus payments, could reduce absenteeism, and improve education performance....

    17 Nov 2014 | Andrew Zeitlin, Ibrahim Kasirye, Clare Leaver, Pieter Serneels, Jacobus Cilliers

  • Project

    Impact of property rights in urban Tanzania: the role of infrastructure

    Formalising land rights is one market-based tool to alleviate poverty, thought to reduce expropriation risk, encourage investment  and, by enabling the collateral value of land, giving property owners increased access to credit. Despite these assumptions, few studies have examined the impact of property rights interventions in urban areas, particularly in Sub-Saharan...

    10 Oct 2014 | Stefan Dercon, Andrew Zeitlin, Klaus Deininger

  • Project

    Economic Impact of Urban Property Rights in Tanzania: The Role of Infrastructure

    Formalising land rights is thought to reduce expropriation risk, encourage investment  and, by enabling the collateral value of land, giving property owners increased access to credit. Despite these assumptions, few studies have examined the impact of property rights interventions in urban areas, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, while formal land titling is...

    10 Oct 2014 | Christopher Adam, Stefan Dercon, Andrew Zeitlin, Justin Sandefur, Daniel Ayalew Ali

  • Multimedia Item - Video

    Growth Week 2014: Country Session - Rwanda

    6 Oct 2014

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Improving Teacher Attendance using a Locally Managed Monitoring Scheme: Evidence from Ugandan Primary Schools (Policy Brief)

    4 Sep 2014 | Jacobus Cilliers, Ibrahim Kasirye, Clare Leaver, Pieter Serneels, Andrew Zeitlin

  • Project

    The high returns to low-cost private schooling in a poor country

    While research from the U.S., Latin America and Asia provides little evidence that private schooling leads to greater educational attainment relative to public schooling, new research from the developing world suggests the opposite. New research examining the case of private schooling in Kenya from Tessa Bold (University of Frankfurt), Mwangi Kimenyi (Brookings...

    28 Aug 2014 | Andrew Zeitlin, Tessa Bold, Justin Sandefur, Mwangi S. Kimenyi, Germano Mwabu, Mukhtar Abdi Ogle, Mwangi S. Kimenyi

  • Blog post

    Using financial incentives and mobile monitoring to address teacher absenteeism in Uganda’s primary schools

    "The challenge: How do we improve accountability of teachers with local monitoring? Uganda has made considerable progress in expanding access to primary school in their bid to achieve the universal primary education goal of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The number of enrolled primary school-aged children more than doubled to five million after Uganda...

    9 Dec 2013 | Jacobus Cilliers, Ibrahim Kasirye, Clare Leaver, Pieter Serneels, Andrew Zeitlin

  • Project

    Big hits within the EAC

    We use a large sample of export transactions from customs files across six developing countries and several years to explore the extent of pricing to market and volume responses to exchange-rate variations in the East African Community (EAC), a customs union, and a control group of exporters from developing countries outside the region. We find that, relative to the control...

    1 Sep 2013 | Andrew Zeitlin, Olivier Cadot, Marguerite Duponchel, Mélise Jaud, Alan Asprilla

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Is land titling feasible in Tanzania's low-income urban areas? (Policy Brief)

    4 Dec 2012 | Daniel Ayalew Ali, Matthew Collin, Klaus Deininger, Stefan Dercon, Justin Sandefur, Andrew Zeitlin

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Slum-Upgrading in Tanzania: Public Infrastructure and Private Property Rights (Working Paper)

    4 Dec 2012 | Matthew Collin, Stefan Dercon, Simone Lombardini, Justin Sandefur, Andrew Zeitlin

  • Publication - Working Paper

    The price of empowerment (Working Paper)

    1 Mar 2012 | Daniel Ayalew Ali, Matthew Collin, Klaus Deininger, Stefan Dercon, Justin Sandefur, Andrew Zeitlin

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    The price of empowerment: can land titling programmes be gender-inclusive? (Policy Brief)

    1 Mar 2012 | Daniel Ayalew Ali, Matthew Collin, Klaus Deininger, Stefan Dercon, Justin Sandefur, Andrew Zeitlin