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Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools

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  • Roland G. Fryer

Abstract

Financial incentives for teachers to increase student performance is an increasingly popular education policy around the world. This paper describes a school-based randomized trial in over two-hundred New York City public schools designed to better understand the impact of teacher incentives on student achievement. I find no evidence that teacher incentives increase student performance, attendance, or graduation, nor do I find any evidence that the incentives change student or teacher behavior. If anything, teacher incentives may decrease student achievement, especially in larger schools. The paper concludes with a speculative discussion of theories that may explain these stark results.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16850.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Publication status: published as “Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City,” 2008 [forthcoming in Journal of Labor Economics]
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16850

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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1613-1634, December.
  2. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2007. "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 95-135.
  3. Victor Lavy, 2002. "Evaluating the Effect of Teachers' Group Performance Incentives on Pupil Achievement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1286-1317, December.
  4. Esther Dufluo & Rema Hanna, 2006. "Monitoring works: Getting teachers to come to school," Framed Field Experiments 00142, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Jonah E. Rockoff & Brian A. Jacob & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2011. "Can You Recognize an Effective Teacher When You Recruit One?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 43-74, January.
  6. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2011. "Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 39 - 77.
  7. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 226-244, February.
  8. Christopher Jepsen & Steven Rivkin, 2002. "What is the Tradeoff Between Smaller Classes and Teacher Quality?," NBER Working Papers 9205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2010. "Financial Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from Randomized Trials," NBER Working Papers 15898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Victor Lavy, 2004. "Performance Pay and Teachers' Effort, Productivity and Grading Ethics," NBER Working Papers 10622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Eric P. Bettinger, 2012. "Paying to Learn: The Effect of Financial Incentives on Elementary School Test Scores," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 686-698, August.
  12. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Caroline M. Hoxby & Andrew Leigh, 2004. "Pulled Away or Pushed Out? Explaining the Decline of Teacher Aptitude in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 236-240, May.
  14. Justine S. Hastings & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2006. "Preferences and Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in a Public School Choice Lottery," NBER Working Papers 12145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Sean P. Corcoran & William N. Evans & Robert S. Schwab, 2002. "Changing Labor Market Opportunities for Women and the Quality of Teachers 1957-1992," NBER Working Papers 9180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Derek Neal, 2011. "The Design of Performance Pay in Education," NBER Working Papers 16710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2000. "The Impact of School Choice on Student Outcomes: An Analysis of the Chicago Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 7888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. Kan kommunerna incitamentstyra?
    by Jonas Vlachos in Ekonomistas on 2012-10-26 14:51:42
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Cited by:
  1. Steven Glazerman & Hanley Chiang & Alison Wellington & Jill Constantine & Dan Player, 2011. "Impacts of Performance Pay Under the Teacher Incentive Fund: Study Design Report," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7407, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Jones, Michael D., 2013. "Teacher behavior under performance pay incentives," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 148-164.
  3. Roel Elk & Marc Steeg & Dinand Webbink, 2013. "Can Financial Incentives for Regional Education Authorities Reduce School Dropout?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(4), pages 367-398, December.
  4. Scott A. Imberman & Michael F. Lovenheim, 2012. "Incentive Strength and Teacher Productivity: Evidence from a Group-Based Teacher Incentive Pay System," NBER Working Papers 18439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jones, Michael D., 2012. "Teacher Behavior under Performance Pay Incentives," MPRA Paper 43892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Korthals Roxanne, 2012. "Selection and Tracking in Secondary Education; A cross country analysis of student performance and educational opportunities," Research Memorandum 050, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  7. Jesse Rothstein, 2012. "Teacher Quality Policy When Supply Matters," NBER Working Papers 18419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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