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Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School

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Author Info

  • Esther Duflo
  • Rema Hanna
  • Stephen P. Ryan

Abstract

We use a randomized experiment and a structural model to test whether monitoring and financial incentives can reduce teacher absence and increase learning in India. In treatment schools, teachers' attendance was monitored daily using cameras, and their salaries were made a nonlinear function of attendance. Teacher absenteeism in the treatment group fell by 21 percentage points relative to the control group, and the children's test scores increased by 0.17 standard deviations. We estimate a structural dynamic labor supply model and find that teachers respond strongly to financial incentives. Our model is used to compute cost-minimizing compensation policies. (JEL I21, J31, J45, O15)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.4.1241
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
Pages: 1241-78

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:4:p:1241-78

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  1. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Gotte, 2002. "Do workers work more if wages are high? Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00240, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2004. "Fairness and Incentives in a Multi-Task Principle-Agent Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 4464, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Aguirregabiria, Victor & Mira, Pedro, 2010. "Dynamic discrete choice structural models: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 38-67, May.
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