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Should Economists Listen to Educational Psychologists? Some Economics of Student Motivation

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  • Donze, Jocelyn
  • Gunnes, Trude

Abstract

This paper sheds light on the role of student motivation in the success of schooling. We develop a model in which a teacher engages in the management of student moti- vation through the choice of the classroom environment. We show that the teacher is able to motivate high-ability students, at least in the short run, by designing a com- petitive environment. For students with low ability, risk aversion, or when engaged in a long-term relationship, the teacher designs a classroom environment that is more focused on mastery and self-referenced standards. In doing so, the teacher helps to develop the intrinsic motivation of students and their capacity to overcome failures.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 11-247.

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Date of creation: 22 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:24739

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Keywords: Education; Student achievement; Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation;

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  1. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
  2. Correa, Hector & Gruver, Gene W., 1987. "Teacher-student interaction: A game theoretic extension of the economic theory of education," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 19-47, February.
  3. Costrell, Robert M, 1994. "A Simple Model of Educational Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 956-71, September.
  4. De Fraja, Gianni & Landeras, Pedro, 2006. "Could do better: The effectiveness of incentives and competition in schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 189-213, January.
  5. Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-64, May.
  6. DIONNE, George & EECKHOUDT, Louis, . "Self-insurance, self-protection and increased risk aversion," CORE Discussion Papers RP -623, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Jullien, B. & Salanie, B. & Salanie, F., 1998. "Should More Risk-Averse Agents Exert More Effort?," Papers 98.489, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  8. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
  9. Bonesronning, Hans, 2004. "Can effective teacher behavior be identified?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 237-247, June.
  10. Derek Neal & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2010. "Left Behind by Design: Proficiency Counts and Test-Based Accountability," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 263-283, May.
  11. Betts, Julian R, 1998. "The Impact of Educational Standards on the Level and Distribution of Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 266-75, March.
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