Social Promotion and Learning Outcomes: Evidence from India

45 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2018

See all articles by Md Nazmul Ahsan

Md Nazmul Ahsan

Saint Louis University - Department of Economics

Rakesh Banerjee

Rice University

Siddharth Hari

Virginia Tech

Date Written: September 2018


We study the effects of a national social promotion policy on learning outcomes in India. The “No Detention Policy” mandated automatic promotion of students till grade 8. Exploiting variation in pre-existing grade retention rules across states, we set up a differences-in-differences design. Using data from eight years of a large-scale education survey, we find that social promotion improved reading scores by 2.5 percent, and math scores by 5 percent. Both boys and girls show improvements in learning outcomes and the effects are strongest in the lowest quartile of the test score distribution. We consider different mechanisms that could be driving our results.

Keywords: Social Promotion, Learning Outcomes, Economic Growth

JEL Classification: I2, I28, O10, O15

Suggested Citation

Ahsan, Md Nazmul and Banerjee, Rakesh and Hari, Siddharth, Social Promotion and Learning Outcomes: Evidence from India (September 2018). USC-INET Research Paper No. 18-14, Available at SSRN: or

Md Nazmul Ahsan (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lindell Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63108
United States

Rakesh Banerjee

Rice University ( email )

6100 South Main Street
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

Siddharth Hari

Virginia Tech ( email )

3021 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

HOME PAGE: http://

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