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Individual Teacher Incentives, Student Achievement and Grade Inflation

  • Pedro S. Martins

How do teacher incentives affect student achievement? Here we examine the effects of the recent introduction of teacher performance-related pay and tournaments in Portugal's public schools. Specifically, we conduct a difference-in-differences analysis based on population matched student-school panel data and two complementary control groups: public schools in autonomous regions that were exposed to lighter versions of the reform; and private schools, which are subject to the same national exams but whose teachers were not affected by the reform. We find that the focus on individual teacher performance decreased student achievement, particularly in terms of national exams, and increased grade inflation.

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File URL: http://webspace.qmul.ac.uk/pmartins/CGRWP29.pdf
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Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research in its series Working Papers with number 29.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:29
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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Gadi Barlevy & Derek Neal, 2011. "Pay for Percentile," NBER Working Papers 17194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2004. "Fairness and Incentives in a Multi-Task Principle-Agent Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 4464, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2002. "Teachers and student achievement in the Chicago public high schools," Working Paper Series WP-02-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  6. Atkinson, Adele & Burgess, Simon & Croxson, Bronwyn & Gregg, Paul & Propper, Carol & Slater, Helen & Wilson, Deborah, 2009. "Evaluating the impact of performance-related pay for teachers in England," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 251-261, June.
  7. Imran Rasul & Iwan Barankay & Orana Bandiera, 2005. "Social preferences and the response to incentives: Evidence from personnel data," Natural Field Experiments 00212, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  9. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2004. "Fairness and incentives in a multi-task principal-agent model," Munich Reprints in Economics 20657, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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