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Sorting with Motivated Agents: Implications for School Competition and Teacher Incentives


  • Timothy Besley
  • Maitreesh Ghatak


This paper proposes a simple framework to study incentives and matching in the market for teachers. The framework is used to investigate the consequences of introducing incentive pay for teachers when contracts have both a matching and an incentive effect. Our analysis suggests that school competition and teacher incentives cannot be studied in isolation from one another. (JEL: D73, I20, J45, L31 (c) 2006 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2006. "Sorting with Motivated Agents: Implications for School Competition and Teacher Incentives," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 404-414, 04-05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:4:y:2006:i:2-3:p:404-414

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gaspar, Vitor & Smets, Frank, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Price Stability and Output Gap Stabilization," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 193-211, Summer.
    2. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    3. Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets, 2005. "Monetary Policy under Adaptive Learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 80, Society for Computational Economics.
    4. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
    5. Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets & David Vestin, 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Adaptive Learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 183, Society for Computational Economics.
    6. Athanasios Orphanides & John Williams, 2004. "Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 201-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy with Imperfect Knowledge," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 366-375, 04-05.
    8. Smets, Frank, 2003. "Maintaining price stability: how long is the medium term?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1293-1309, September.
    9. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
    10. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guha, Brishti & Chowdhury, Prabal Roy, 2013. "Micro-finance competition: Motivated micro-lenders, double-dipping and default," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 86-102.
    2. Chowdhury, Shyamal & Chowdhury, Prabal Roy & Sengupta, Kunal, 2014. "Sequential lending with dynamic joint liability in micro-finance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 167-180.
    3. Perroni, Carlo & Proto, Eugenio, 2007. "Moral Hazard and Entrepreneurial Failure in a Two-sector Model of Productive Matching - with an Application to the Natural Resource Curse," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 796, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Kristensen, Søren Rud & Siciliani, Luigi & Sutton, Matt, 2016. "Optimal price-setting in pay for performance schemes in health care," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 57-77.
    5. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2016. "Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(2), pages 305-370.
    6. Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "Cross-country evidence on teacher performance pay," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 404-418, June.
    7. Siciliani, Luigi & Rune Straume, Odd & Cellini, Roberto, 2013. "Quality competition with motivated providers and sluggish demand," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 2041-2061.
    8. Lea Cassar, 2014. "Optimal contracting with endogenous project mission," ECON - Working Papers 150, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Oct 2014.
    9. repec:nip:nipewp:10/2014 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Roberto Cellini & Fabio Lamantia, 2015. "Quality competition in markets with regulated prices and minimum quality standards," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 345-370, April.
    11. Luigi Siciliani, 2007. "Paying for performance with altruistic or motivated providers," Discussion Papers 07/33, Department of Economics, University of York.
    12. Kurt R. Brekke & Luigi Siciliani & Odd Rune Straume, 2011. "Quality competition with profit constraints: Do non-profit firms provide higher quality than for-profit firms?," NIPE Working Papers 05/2011, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    13. Koch, Alexander & Nafziger, Julia & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2015. "Behavioral economics of education," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 3-17.
    14. Brekke, Kurt R. & Siciliani, Luigi & Straume, Odd Rune, 2012. "Quality competition with profit constraints," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 642-659.
    15. Kurt R. Brekke & Luigi Siciliani & Odd Rune Straume, 2017. "Hospital Mergers with Regulated Prices," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 597-627, July.
    16. Ostermaier, Andreas & Beltz, Philipp & Link, Susanne, 2013. "Do university policies matter? Effects of Course Policies on Performance," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79924, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship


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