Teacher opinions on performance pay: Evidence from India
The practical viability of performance-based pay programs for teachers depends critically on the extent of support the idea will receive from teachers. We present evidence on teacher opinions with regard to performance-based pay from teacher interviews conducted in the context of an experimental evaluation of a program that provided performance-based bonuses to teachers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. We report four main findings in this paper: (1) over 80% of teachers had a favorable opinion about the idea of linking a component of pay to measures of performance, (2) exposure to an actual incentive program increased teacher support for the idea, (3) teacher support declines with age, experience, training, and base pay, and (4) the extent of teachers' stated ex ante support for performance-linked pay (over a series of mean-preserving spreads of pay) is positively correlated with their ex post performance as measured by estimates of teacher value addition. This suggests that teachers are aware of their own effectiveness and that implementing a performance-linked pay program could not only have broad-based support among teachers but also attract more effective teachers into the teaching profession.
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