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Evaluating the Impact of Performance-related Pay for Teachers in England

  • Adele Atkinson
  • Simon Burgess
  • Bronwyn Croxson
  • Paul Gregg


This paper evaluates the impact of a performance-related pay scheme for teachers in England. Using teacher level data, matched with test scores and value-added, we test whether the introduction of a payment scheme based on pupil attainment increased teacher effort. Our evaluation design controls for pupil effects, school effects and teacher effects, and adopts a difference-in-difference methodology. We find that the scheme did improve test scores and value added, on average by about half a grade per pupil. We also find heterogeneity across subjects, with maths teachers showing no improvement.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 04/113.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:04/113
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  1. Victor Lavy, 2004. "Performance Pay and Teachers' Effort, Productivity and Grading Ethics," NBER Working Papers 10622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul Glewwe & Nauman Ilias & Michael Kremer, 2003. "Teacher Incentives," NBER Working Papers 9671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gerald Marschke & Pascal Courty, 2000. "Performance Incentives with Award Constraints," Discussion Papers 00-11, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  4. Stephen French & David Marsden, 1998. "What A Performance: Performance Related Pay In The Public Services," CEP Special Papers 10, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Simon Burgess & Marisa Ratto, 2003. "The Role of Incentives in the Public Sector: Issues and Evidence," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 285-300, Summer.
  6. David Marsden, 2000. "Teachers before the 'threshold'," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3641, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Thomas S. Dee & Benjamin J. Keys, 2004. "Does merit pay reward good teachers? Evidence from a randomized experiment," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 471-488.
  8. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  9. Victor Lavy, 2002. "Evaluating the Effect of Teachers' Group Performance Incentives on Pupil Achievement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1286-1317, December.
  10. Randall Eberts & Kevin Hollenbeck & Joe Stone, 2000. "Teacher Performance Incentives and Student Outcomes," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 00-65, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  11. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Personnel Economics: Past Lessons and Future Directions," NBER Working Papers 6957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, 03.
  13. Ladd, Helen F., 1999. "The Dallas school accountability and incentive program: an evaluation of its impacts on student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-16, February.
  14. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
  15. Simon Burgess & Marisa Ratto, 2003. "The Role of Incentives in the Public Sector: Issues and Evidence," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/071, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  16. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
  17. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2007. "How and Why do Teacher Credentials Matter for Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 12828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Kahn, Charles M & Silva, Emilson C D & Ziliak, James P, 2001. "Performance-Based Wages in Tax Collection: The Brazilian Tax Collection Reform and Its Effects," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 188-205, January.
  19. Cooper, Samuel T. & Cohn, Elchanan, 1997. "Estimation of a frontier production function for the South Carolina educational process," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 313-327, June.
  20. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2007. "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 95-135.
  21. Avinash Dixit, 2002. "# Incentives and Organizations in the Public Sector: An Interpretative Review," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 696-727.
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