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Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School

  • Esther Duflo
  • Rema Hanna
  • Stephen P. Ryan

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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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. Victor Aguirregabiria & Pedro mira, 2007. "Dynamic Discrete Choice Structural Models: A Survey," Working Papers tecipa-297, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2002. "Do workers work more if wages are high? Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00240, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "Fairness and Incentives in a Multi-Task Principal-Agent Model," IEW - Working Papers 191, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Christopher Ferrall, 2008. "Explaining and Forecasting Results of The Self-Sufficiency Project," Working Papers 1165, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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