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Individual teacher incentives and student performance

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  • Figlio, David N.
  • Kenny, Lawrence W.

Abstract

This paper is the first to systematically document the relationship between individual teacher performance incentives and student achievement using United States data. We combine data from the National Education Longitudinal Survey on schools, students, and their families with our own survey conducted in 2000 regarding the use of teacher incentives. This survey on teacher incentives has unique data on frequency and magnitude of merit raises and bonuses, teacher evaluation, and teacher termination. We find that test scores are higher in schools that offer individual financial incentives for good performance. Moreover, the estimated relationship between the presence of merit pay in teacher compensation and student test scores is strongest in schools that may have the least parental oversight. The association between teacher incentives and student performance could be due to better schools adopting teacher incentives or to teacher incentives eliciting more effort from teachers; it is impossible to rule out the former explanation with our cross sectional data.
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Suggested Citation

  • Figlio, David N. & Kenny, Lawrence W., 2007. "Individual teacher incentives and student performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 901-914, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:91:y:2007:i:5-6:p:901-914
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    1. Ballou, Dale, 2001. "Pay for performance in public and private schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 51-61, February.
    2. Paul Glewwe & Nauman Ilias & Michael Kremer, 2010. "Teacher Incentives," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 205-227, July.
    3. Randall Eberts & Kevin Hollenbeck & Joe Stone, 2002. "Teacher Performance Incentives and Student Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 913-927.
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    6. Dale Ballou & Michael Podgursky, 1996. "Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number tptq, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Braga, Michela & Paccagnella, Marco & Pellizzari, Michele, 2014. "Evaluating students’ evaluations of professors," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 71-88.
    2. Marta De Philippis, 2015. "Multitask Agents and Incentives: The Case of Teaching and Research for University Professors," CEP Discussion Papers dp1386, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2008. "Does Mentoring Reduce Turnover and Improve Skills of New Employees? Evidence from Teachers in New York City," NBER Working Papers 13868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Muralidharan, Karthik & Sundararaman, Venkatesh, 2011. "Teacher opinions on performance pay: Evidence from India," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 394-403, June.
    5. Jones, Michael D., 2013. "Teacher behavior under performance pay incentives," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 148-164.
    6. Matthew P. Steinberg & Morgaen L. Donaldson, 2016. "The New Educational Accountability: Understanding the Landscape of Teacher Evaluation in the Post-NCLB Era," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(3), pages 340-359, Summer.
    7. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2014. "Do College-Preparatory Programs Improve Long-Term Outcomes?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 72-99, January.
    8. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2011. "Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 39-77.
    9. Nannerup, Niels & Olsen, Kasper Krogh, 2014. "Multitasking and performance measurement," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 20/2014, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
    10. Felipe Barrera-Osorio & Dario Maldonado & Catherine Rodríguez, 2012. "Calidad de la educación básica y media en Colombia: diagnóstico y propuestas," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 010078, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    11. Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "Cross-country evidence on teacher performance pay," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 404-418, June.
    12. Balch, Ryan & Springer, Matthew G., 2015. "Performance pay, test scores, and student learning objectives," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 114-125.
    13. Jaime Andrés Sarmiento Espinel & Adriana Carolina Silva Arias, 2014. "La formación del economista en Colombia," REVISTA FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS ECONÓMICAS, UNIVERSIDAD MILITAR NUEVA GRANADA, vol. 0(1), pages 231-262, June.
    14. Singh, Prakarsh, 2011. "Performance Pay and Information: Reducing Child Malnutrition in Urban Slums," MPRA Paper 29403, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Prakarsh Singh & Sandip Mitra, 2015. "Performance Pay and Malnutrition: Evidence from an Experiment targeting Child Malnutrition in West Bengal," NCID Working Papers 05/2015, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
    16. Suzy Jagger & Haytham Siala & Diane Sloan, 2016. "It's All in the Game: A 3D Learning Model for Business Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 137(2), pages 383-403, August.
    17. Feng, Han & Li, Jiayao, 2016. "Head teachers, peer effects, and student achievement," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 268-283.
    18. Nick Manning & Zahid Hasnain & Jan Henryk Pierskalla, 2012. "Public Sector Human Resource Practices to Drive Performance," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25489, The World Bank.
    19. Scott E. Carrell & James E. West, 2010. "Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 409-432, June.
    20. Singh, Prakarsh, 2015. "Performance pay and information: Reducing child undernutrition in India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 141-163.
    21. Graves, Jennifer, 2010. "The academic impact of multi-track year-round school calendars: A response to school overcrowding," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 378-391, May.
    22. Goldhaber, Dan & Walch, Joe, 2012. "Strategic pay reform: A student outcomes-based evaluation of Denver's ProComp teacher pay initiative," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1067-1083.
    23. Alexis Le Chapelain, 2014. "Market for Education and Student Achievement," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1jgbspo1909, Sciences Po.
    24. Figlio, David N. & Kenny, Lawrence W., 2009. "Public sector performance measurement and stakeholder support," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1069-1077, October.
    25. Mizala, Alejandra & Ñopo, Hugo, 2016. "Measuring the relative pay of school teachers in Latin America 1997–2007," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 20-32.

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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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