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Individual Teacher Incentives And Student Performance

  • David N. Figlio
  • Lawrence Kenny

This paper is the first to systematically document the relationship between individual teacher performance incentives and student achievement using United States data. We combine data from the National Education Longitudinal Survey on schools, students, and their families with our own survey conducted in 2000 regarding the use of teacher incentives. This survey on teacher incentives has unique data on frequency and magnitude of merit raises and bonuses, teacher evaluation, and teacher termination. We find that test scores are higher in schools that offer individual financial incentives for good performance. Moreover, the estimated relationship between the presence of merit pay in teacher compensation and student test scores is strongest in schools that may have the least parental oversight. The association between teacher incentives and student performance could be due to better schools adopting teacher incentives or to teacher incentives eliciting more effort from teachers; it is impossible to rule out the former explanation with our cross sectional data.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12627.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12627.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Publication status: published as Figlio, David N. & Kenny, Lawrence W., 2007. "Individual teacher incentives and student performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 901-914, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12627
Note: CH ED
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Michael Kremer & Nauman Ilias & Paul Glewwe, 2003. "Teacher incentives," Natural Field Experiments 00257, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Ballou, Dale, 2001. "Pay for performance in public and private schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 51-61, February.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Ladd, Helen F., 1996. "The Dallas School Accountability and Incentive Program: An Evaluation of Its Impacts on Student Outcomes," Working Papers 96-18, Duke University, Department of Economics.
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