Augmenting State Capacity for Child Development: Experimental Evidence from India

Alejandro J. Ganimian, Karthik Muralidharan, Christopher R. Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We use a large-scale randomized experiment to study the impact of augmenting staffing in the world’s largest public early-childhood program: India’s Integrated Child Development Services. Adding a worker doubled net preschool instructional time and led to increases of 0.28j and 0.46j in math and language test scores after 18 months for children who remained enrolled in the program and 0.13j and 0.10j for all children enrolled at baseline. Rates of stunting and severe malnutrition were also lower in the treatment group for children who remained enrolled. A cost-benefit analysis suggests that the benefits of augmenting staffing significantly exceed its costs. These effects are likely to replicate even at larger scales of program implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1565-1602
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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