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The Design of Performance Pay in Education

  • Derek Neal
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    This chapter analyzes the design of incentive schemes in education while reviewing empirical studies that evaluate performance pay programs for educators. Several themes emerge. First, it is difficult to use one assessment system to create both educator performance metrics and measures of student achievement. To mitigate incentives for coaching, incentive systems should employ assessments that vary in both format and item content. Separate no-stakes assessments provide more reliable information about student achievement because they create no incentives for educators to take hidden actions that contaminate student test scores. Second, relative performance schemes are rare in education even though they are more difficult to manipulate than systems built around psychometric or subjective performance standards. Third, assessment-based incentive schemes are mechanisms that complement rather than substitute for systems that promote parental choice, e.g. vouchers and charter schools.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16710.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16710.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2011
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    Publication status: published as "The Design of Performance Pay in Education," Handbook of Economics of Education. Volume 4. 2011
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16710
    Note: ED LS
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the technology of cognitive and noncognitive skill formation," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214, February.
    3. Gadi Barlevy & Derek Neal, 2009. "Pay for percentile," Working Paper Series WP-09-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    4. Victor Lavy, 2004. "Performance Pay and Teachers' Effort, Productivity and Grading Ethics," NBER Working Papers 10622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2011. "Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 39 - 77.
    6. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Long-Term Consequences of Secondary School Vouchers: Evidence from Administrative Records in Colombia," NBER Working Papers 10713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Randall Reback & Julie Berry Cullen, 2006. "Tinkering toward accolades: School gaming under a performance accountability system," Working Papers 0601, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
    8. Lisa Barrow & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2008. "School vouchers and student achievement: recent evidence, remaining questions," Working Paper Series WP-08-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    9. 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.
    10. Figlio, David & Loeb, Susanna, 2011. "School Accountability," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    11. 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.
    12. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor & Roger Aliaga Diaz, 2004. "Do school accountability systems make it more difficult for low-performing schools to attract and retain high-quality teachers?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 251-271.
    13. Adele Atkinson & Simon Burgess & Bronwyn Croxson & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Evaluating the Impact of Performance-related Pay for Teachers in England," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/113, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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