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The Effect of Financial Rewards on Students' Achievements: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Leuven, Edwin
  • Oosterbeek, Hessel
  • van der Klaauw, Bas

Abstract

This Paper reports a randomized field experiment in which first year economics and business students at the University of Amsterdam could earn financial rewards for passing all first year requirements before the start of their second academic year. Participants were assigned to a high reward group, a low reward group or a no reward (control) group. Overall, the passing rate and the numbers of collected credit point are not significantly different across the three groups. The same is true for the reported amounts of study time. We find, however, some evidence of heterogenous treatment effects. In particular, students with high maths skills and students with higher educated fathers have higher passing rates and collect more credit points when assigned to (higher) reward groups. While reported study time for these groups is not affected by treatment status, these students claim that they have studied harder as a consequence of the rewards.

Suggested Citation

  • Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2003. "The Effect of Financial Rewards on Students' Achievements: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3921
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek & Bas van der Klaauw, 2010. "The Effect of Financial Rewards on Students' Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(6), pages 1243-1265, December.
    2. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Elizabeth King & Michael Kremer, 2002. "Vouchers for Private Schooling in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1535-1558, December.
    3. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2002. "The Effect of High School Matriculation Awards: Evidence from Randomized Trials," NBER Working Papers 9389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 437-456, August.
    5. Tomas Philipson, 1999. "External Treatment Effects and Program Implementation Bias," Working Papers 9929, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    6. Erica Field, 2006. "Educational Debt Burden and Career Choice: Evidence from a Financial Aid Experiment at NYU Law School," NBER Working Papers 12282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1999. "General Equilibrium Cost Benefit Analysis of Education and Tax Policies," NBER Working Papers 6881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial incentives; heterogenous treatment effects; randomized social experiment; student acheivement; university education;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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