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

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

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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3921.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3921
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  1. Kremer, Michael & Miguel, Edward & Thornton, Rebecca & Ozier, Owen, 2005. "Incentives to learn," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3546, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Elizabeth King & Michael Kremer, 2001. "Vouchers for Private Schooling in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Tomas J. Philipson, 2000. "External Treatment Effects and Program Implementation Bias," NBER Technical Working Papers 0250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
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