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Improving task completion by school principals during the Covid-19 crisis

We study whether neutral, positive, or negative reinforcement messages given to schools’ principals can improve their bureaucratic efficiency in times of crisis. Under the Covid-19 health emergency urgency, the Ministry of Education asked all school principals in the Dominican Republic to send a detailed file with detailed information on curricular completion prior to the crisis before May 8th, 2020. Focusing on the group of school principals who did not complete the task on time, we randomize reinforcement mechanisms via email to get them to comply with the task before a second due date. Three distinct groups are created for all those school principals who did not comply with the initial due date and for whom the Minister had a valid e-mail contact. All school principals in the control group received an email reminding them of the importance of the task completion and informing them of a new due date for May 15th, 2020. School principals in treatment group 1, further received information on the percentage of school principals in her district that had complied with the initial due date and the importance that they themselves complete it too. School principals in treatment group 2, further received information on the percentage of school principals in her district that had not complied with the initial due date and how this is hindering the Ministry to get the information needed.

Lead investigator:

Daniel Morales

Affiliation:

IDEICE

Primary topic:

Schools, universities & training

Secondary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

Region of data collection:

North America

Country of data collection

Dominican Republic

Status of data collection

Complete

Type of data being collected:

Experimental

Unit of real-time data collection

Other

Start date

5/2020

End date

5/2020

Frequency

One-off

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