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Individual Teacher Incentives And Student Performance

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  • David N. Figlio
  • Lawrence Kenny

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • David N. Figlio & Lawrence Kenny, 2006. "Individual Teacher Incentives And Student Performance," NBER Working Papers 12627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12627
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Glewwe & Nauman Ilias & Michael Kremer, 2010. "Teacher Incentives," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 205-227, July.
    2. Dale Ballou & Michael Podgursky, 1996. "Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number tptq, July.
    3. Ballou, Dale, 2001. "Pay for performance in public and private schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 51-61, February.
    4. Randall Eberts & Kevin Hollenbeck & Joe Stone, 2002. "Teacher Performance Incentives and Student Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 913-927.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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