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Aligning Learning Incentives of Students and Teachers: Results from a Social Experiment in Mexican High Schools

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Listed:
  • Jere R. Behrman
  • Susan W. Parker
  • Petra E. Todd
  • Kenneth I. Wolpin

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of three different performance incentive schemes using data from a social experiment that randomized 88 Mexican high schools with over 40,000 students into three treatment groups and a control group. Treatment 1 provides individual incentives for performance on curriculum-based mathematics tests to students only, treatment 2 to teachers only, and treatment 3 gives both individual and group incentives to students, teachers, and school administrators. Program impact estimates reveal the largest average effects for treatment 3, smaller impacts for treatment 1, and no impact for treatment 2.

Suggested Citation

  • Jere R. Behrman & Susan W. Parker & Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2015. "Aligning Learning Incentives of Students and Teachers: Results from a Social Experiment in Mexican High Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(2), pages 325-364.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/675910
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David K. Evans & Anna Popova, 2016. "What Really Works to Improve Learning in Developing Countries? An Analysis of Divergent Findings in Systematic Reviews," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 31(2), pages 242-270.
    2. Teresa Molina Millán & Karen Macours, 2017. "Attrition in randomized control trials: Using tracking information to correct bias," FEUNL Working Paper Series novaf:wp1702, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    3. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    4. Miguel Urquiola, 2015. "Progress and challenges in achieving an evidence-based education policy in Latin America and the Caribbean," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 24(1), pages 1-30, December.
    5. Daniela Del Boca & Christopher Flinn & Matthew Wiswall, 2012. "Transfers to Households with Children and Child Development," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 273, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    6. Barrera-Osorio, Felipe & Raju, Dhushyanth, 2017. "Teacher performance pay: Experimental evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 75-91.
    7. Sarojini Hirshleifer, 2017. "Incentives for Effort or Outputs? A Field Experiment to Improve Student Performance," Working Papers 201701, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
    8. Singh, Prakarsh & Mitra, Sandip, 2016. "Performance Pay and Malnutrition," IZA Discussion Papers 10084, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Juan F. Castro & Bruno Esposito, 2017. "The Effect of Teacher Bonuses on Learning Outcomes and the Distribution of Teacher Skill: Evidence from Rural Schools in Peru," Working Papers 2017-104, Peruvian Economic Association.
    10. Stephen Yeaple & Chong Xiang, 2017. "Educational Quality along Multiple Dimensions: A Cross-Country Analysis," 2017 Meeting Papers 510, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Edoardo Di Porto & Leandro Elia & Cristina Tealdi, 2013. "The "emersion" effect: an ex post and ex ante social program evaluation on labor tax evasion in Italy," Working Papers 2/2013, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised Jun 2013.
    12. 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.
    13. Renfu Luo & Grant Miller & Scott Rozelle & Sean Sylvia & Marcos Vera-Hernández, 2015. "Can Bureaucrats Really Be Paid Like CEOs? School Administrator Incentives for Anemia Reduction in Rural China," NBER Working Papers 21302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Wagner, Valentin, 2016. "Seeking risk or answering smart? Framing in elementary schools," DICE Discussion Papers 227, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    15. Claudio Lucifora & Marco Tonello, 2016. "Monitoring and sanctioning cheating at school: What works? Evidence from a national evaluation program," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def051, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    16. Teresa Molina Millan & Karen Macours, 2017. "Attrition in randomized control trials: Using tracking information to correct bias," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1702, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
    17. Chevalier, Arnaud & Dolton, Peter & Lührmann, Melanie, 2014. ""Making It Count": Evidence from a Field Study on Assessment Rules, Study Incentives and Student Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 8582, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Wagner, Valentin, 2016. "Seeking Risk or Answering Smart? Experimental Evidence on Framing Effects in Elementary Schools," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145678, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    19. Masino, Serena & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2016. "What works to improve the quality of student learning in developing countries?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 53-65.
    20. Agüero, Jorge M. & Beleche, Trinidad, 2013. "Test-Mex: Estimating the effects of school year length on student performance in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 353-361.
    21. Arlen Guarín & Carlos Medina & Christian Posso, 2017. "Calidad y Cobertura de la Educación Secundaria Pública y Privada en Colombia, y sus Costos Ocultos," Borradores de Economia 1006, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

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    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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