Work in Progress

Learning by Doing?: Experimental Evidence on Activity-based Instruction in India, with A. de Barros, P. Glewwe, and A. Shankar. Conditionally accepted via pre-results review process at the Journal of Development Economics.


The accumulation of human capital can increase economic growth and reduce poverty. There are now many rigorous studies on “what works” to increase student learning in developing countries, but there is surprisingly little evidence on how to increase learning by changing instructional practice. We conduct a randomized trial to study the causal effect of an innovative program in Karnataka, India, that promotes activity-based learning through teacher training, additional inputs, and community engagement. For this study, we have randomly assigned 98 administrative units (Gram Panchayats) and 292 schools to either receiving the program or a control group. Our primary outcome of interest is child learning, in mathematics, for students in grade four (at baseline). The study’s secondary analyses investigate instructional behaviors, community and parental engagement, and the program’s implementation fidelity. Sub-group analyses focus on differential effects by students’ initial skill level, gender, and geographic location (i.e., district).

Pre-registered at the AEA RCT Trial Registry (AEARCTR-0003494)

Recent Publications

Fajardo-Gonzalez, J. (2020). Domestic Violence, Decision-Making Power and Female Employment in Colombia. Forthcoming at Review of Economics of the Household.  [Ungated version here]

Bellemare, M., Fajardo-Gonzalez, J., and Gitter, S. (2018) Foods and Fads: The Welfare Impacts of Rising Quinoa Prices in PeruWorld Development, 112, 163-179  [Ungated version here]


Fajardo-Gonzalez, J. (2016) Inequality of opportunity in Adult Health in ColombiaThe Journal of Economic Inequality, 14(4), 395–416  [Ungated version here]

Please check a complete list of my peer-reviewed papers,  reports and technical notes in my CV.

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