The importance of education for growth and poverty reduction cannot be overemphasised. Enhanced educational attainment at the national level has been linked to increases in the productivity of the labour force and to other desirable outcomes. Teachers are naturally a vital part of the learning process and interest has recently shifted to focus on how best to ensure that teachers deliver high quality instruction in the classroom. One of the mechanisms through which this can be done could be to offer teachers better pay.
The effect of pay may work through a selection channel (better pay attracts better candidates to teaching) and a pure motivational channel. However, little is known about the impact of wage income on the behaviour and productivity of teachers (and public sector workers in general) particularly in developing countries. This research project will seek to evaluate the impact on teacher behaviour and productivity of the rural hardship allowance in Zambia. This allowance is a salary complement of around 20% of the basic salary given to teachers to compensate for the inconveniences and lack of amenities associated with living and teaching in rural areas.