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

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  • Victor Lavy

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Lavy, 2009. "Performance Pay and Teachers' Effort, Productivity, and Grading Ethics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1979-2011, December.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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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

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