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Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Suggested Citation

  • Esther Duflo & Rema Hanna & Stephen P. Ryan, 2012. "Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1241-1278, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:4:p:1241-78
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher Ferrall, 2012. "Explaining and Forecasting Results of the Self-sufficiency Project," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1495-1526.
    2. Aguirregabiria, Victor & Mira, Pedro, 2010. "Dynamic discrete choice structural models: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 38-67, May.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2007. "Do Workers Work More if Wages Are High? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 298-317, March.
    4. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 2004. "Fairness and Incentives in a Multi‐task Principal–Agent Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 453-474, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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