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Performance Pay and Teachers' Effort, Productivity, and Grading Ethics

  • Victor Lavy

This paper presents evidence about the effect of individual monetary incentives on English and math teachers in Israel. Teachers were rewarded with cash bonuses for improving their students' performance in high-school matriculation exams. The main identification strategy is based on measurement error in the assignment to treatment variable that produced a randomized treatment sample. The incentives led to significant improvements in test taking rates, conditional pass rates, and mean test scores. Improvements were mediated through changes in teaching methods, enhanced after-school teaching, and increased responsiveness to students' needs. No evidence was found of manipulation of test scores by teachers. (JEL I21, J31, J45)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.5.1979
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1979-2011

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:5:p:1979-2011
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.1979
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  1. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "A Little Now for a Lot Later: A Look at a Texas Advanced Placement Incentive Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
  2. Atkinson, Adele & Burgess, Simon & Croxson, Bronwyn & Gregg, Paul & Propper, Carol & Slater, Helen & Wilson, Deborah, 2009. "Evaluating the impact of performance-related pay for teachers in England," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 251-261, June.
  3. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  4. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Duflo, Esther & Hanna, Rema & Ryan, Stephen, 2008. "Monitoring Works: Getting Teachers to Come to School," CEPR Discussion Papers 6682, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
  7. Paul Glewwe & Nauman Ilias & Michael Kremer, 2010. "Teacher Incentives," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 205-27, July.
  8. Richards, Craig E. & Sheu, Tian Ming, 1992. "The South Carolina school incentive reward program: A policy analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 71-86, March.
  9. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2004. "Targeted Remedial Education for Under-Performing Teenagers: Costs and Benefits," NBER Working Papers 10575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Angrist, Joshua & Lavy, Victor, 2004. "The Effect of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a School-Centered Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 1146, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Jerry R. Green & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Victor Lavy, 2004. "Performance Pay and Teachers' Effort, Productivity and Grading Ethics," NBER Working Papers 10622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gaynor, Martin & Pauly, Mark V, 1990. "Compensation and Productive Efficiency of Partnerships: Evidence from Medical Group Practice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 544-73, June.
  14. Emiliana Vegas, 2005. "Incentives to Improve Teaching : Lessons from Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7265, December.
  15. Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "Publicly Provided Education," NBER Working Papers 8799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  17. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  18. Robert Gibbons, 1998. "Incentives in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 6695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  20. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-64, April.
  21. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  22. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2009. "Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 15323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  24. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects Of Class Size On Student Achievement: New Evidence From Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285, November.
  25. Derek Neal & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Left Behind By Design: Proficiency Counts and Test-Based Accountability," NBER Working Papers 13293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," NBER Working Papers 9413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. 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.
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