Paris School of Economics - École d'Économie de Paris

Economics serving society

Asma Benhenda

Asma Benhenda

Ph. D. student

Paris School of Economics / Ehess

Campus Jourdan – 48 boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris

3rd floor, office 68

  • Education
  • Public Economics
  • Work, employment and social policies

Thesis Supervisor: PIKETTY Thomas

Academic year of registration: 2014/2015

Doctoral Advisors: Julien Grenet  & Thomas Piketty


I am looking for a post-doctoral position, starting 2018-2019. 



Julien GRENET (advisor), Paris School of Economics


Thomas PIKETTY (advisor), Paris School of Economics


Jonah ROCKOFF, Columbia University 


Working Papers


-  [UPDATED] Absence, Substitutability and Productivity. Evidence from Teachers
Working Paper, November 2017; Slides (November 2017) 


Worker absence is a frequent phenomenon but little is known on its effects on productivity nor on organizations’ strategies to cope with this temporary disruptive event through substitute workers. Using a unique French administrative dataset matching, for each absence spell, each missing secondary school teacher to her substitute teacher, I find that the expected loss in daily productivity from teacher absences is on par with replacing an average teacher with one at the 15th percentile of the teacher value-added distribution. On average, tenured substitute teachers are able to compensate 37 % of this negative impact while contract substitute teachers do not have any statistically significant impact. This result has important implication for public policy in the context of the shortage of tenured teachers in disadvantaged areas, where contract teachers are more and more concentrated.

-  [Submitted] How to Identify Good Teachers? Teacher Evaluations and Student Achievement
Working Paper, November 2017; Slides (October 2017) 

Abstract: I study the relationship between systematic and complementary screening and on-the-job  teacher evaluations by their hierarchy, and effectiveness in raising students’ test scores in secondary school.  I analyze the oral and written certification grades and two on-the-job evaluations in France: an inside classroom observation by external inspectors and the school principal evaluation. Exploiting within student across topics variations, I find that the only evaluation significantly associated with student achievement gains is the inside classroom observation: a standard deviation increase in this grade is associated with a two percent standard deviation increase in student achievement gains.


Work in Progress

- Stay a Little Longer ? Teacher Turnover, Seniority and Quality in French Disadvantaged Schools (with Julien Grenet)      
Presentation at Columbia University, April 2016

 Abstract: Using French administrative data on secondary school teachers, we analyze a non-pecuniary, "career-path oriented" centralized incentive scheme designed to attract and retain teachers in French disadvantaged schools. We rely on a major reform of the structure of this incentive scheme to identify its effect on teacher turnover, seniority and quality in disadvantaged schools. Preliminary results suggest that this incentive scheme has a statistically significant positive effect on the number of consecutive years teachers stay in disadvantaged schools, but a negative effect on the quality of teachers moving to these schools. We do not find any statistically significant effect on student achievement. 


Policy Reports


- Benhenda, A. and J. Grenet (2015), Évaluation du coût du redoublement, Paris School of Economics/Institut des politiques publiques, January, 138 p.

- Executive Summary in French; Executive Summary in English.

- Presentation at the Conférence de consensus, Conseil national d'évaluation du système

    scolaire (January 28, 2015).

- Main media coverage: "Le redoublement coûte 2 milliards d'euros par an", Le Monde (January 28, 2015); "Le  redoublement  coûte deux milliards d'euros par an", Le Figaro (January 28, 2015).


- Fack G., Grenet J. and A. Benhenda (2014), L'impact des procédures de sectorisation et d'affectation sur la mixité sociale et scolaire dans les lycées d'Ile-de-France, Paris School of Economics/ Institut des politiques publiques, June, 202 p.

 -  Main media coverage: "Paris, capitale de la ségrégation scolaire au lycée"Le Monde (July 2, 2014); "Le gouvernement souhaite-t-il vraiment la mixité sociale ?", Le Monde (Thomas Piketty's op-ed; August 31, 2016)


Popular Writing & Interviews


Faut-il rétablir le redoublement ?Public Senat (French Parliamentary Channel; November 29, 2017)


- Benhenda, A. (2017), Politique éducative d'Emmanuel Macron: ce que peut en dire la recherche, The Conversation (May 10, 2017).


- Benhenda, A. (2015), "L'enseignement supérieur peut-il s'autofinancer ?", Le Monde (October 14).


- Benhenda, A.  and J. Grenet (2015), What is the Cost of Grade Retention in French Primary and Secondary Education ?, IPP Policy Brief n°17, January.


- Benhenda A. (2014), "Pour en finir avec les inégalités entre les sexes à l'école", Le Monde (October 31).


 - Editorials and Briefs for Regards croisés sur l'économie

  - Editor of its issue on higher education, published in October 2015.  

 - Editor of its issue on K-12 education, published in March 2013. Main media coverage: "Mauvaise note pour la mixité", Le Monde (March 29, 2013). 



                                                                                                                                                                      Last updated: November 2017.