IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/18439.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Incentive Strength and Teacher Productivity: Evidence from a Group-Based Teacher Incentive Pay System

Author

Listed:
  • Scott A. Imberman
  • Michael F. Lovenheim

Abstract

Using data from a group incentive program that provides cash bonuses to teachers whose students perform well on standardized tests, we estimate the impact of incentive strength on student achievement. These awards are based on the performances of students within a grade, school and subject, providing substantial variation in group size. We use the share of students in a grade-subject enrolled in a teacher's classes as a proxy for incentive strength since, as the teacher share increases, a teacher's impact on the probability of award receipt rises. We find that student achievement improves when a teacher becomes responsible for more students post program implementation: mean effects are between 0.01 and 0.02 standard deviations for a 10 percentage point increase in share for math, English and social studies, although mean science estimates are small and are not statistically significant. As predicted in our theoretical model, we also find larger effects at smaller shares that fall towards zero as share increases. For all four subjects studied, effect sizes start at 0.05 to 0.09 standard deviations for a 10 percentage point increase in share when share is initially close to zero and fade out as share increases. These findings suggest that small groups provide productivity gains over large groups. Further, they suggest that the lack of effects found in US teacher incentive pay experiments probably are in some part due to specific aspects of program design rather than failure of teachers to respond to incentives more generally.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott A. Imberman & Michael F. Lovenheim, 2012. "Incentive Strength and Teacher Productivity: Evidence from a Group-Based Teacher Incentive Pay System," NBER Working Papers 18439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18439
    Note: CH ED LS PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18439.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    3. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 843-877.
    4. Roland Fryer & Steven Levitt & John List & Sally Sadoff, 2012. "Enhancing the Efficacy of Teacher Incentives through Loss Aversion: A Field Experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00591, The Field Experiments Website.
    5. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2012. "Do College-Prep Programs Improve Long-Term Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 17859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "A Little Now for a Lot Later: A Look at a Texas Advanced Placement Incentive Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
    7. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    8. Leibowitz, Arleen & Tollison, Robert, 1980. "Free Riding, Shirking, and Team Production in Legal Partnerships," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(3), pages 380-394, July.
    9. Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 16850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Gaynor, Martin & Pauly, Mark V, 1990. "Compensation and Productive Efficiency of Partnerships: Evidence from Medical Group Practice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 544-573, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    2. Alejandro J. Ganimian & Richard J. Murnane, 2014. "Improving Educational Outcomes in Developing Countries: Lessons from Rigorous Impact Evaluations," NBER Working Papers 20284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Audra Bowlus & Eda Bozkurt & Lance Lochner & Chris Robinson, 2017. "Wages and Employment: The Canonical Model Revisited," NBER Working Papers 24069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Barrera-Osorio, Felipe & Raju, Dhushyanth, 2017. "Teacher performance pay: Experimental evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 75-91.
    5. Andrea Lepine, 2016. "Teacher Incentives and Student Performance: Evidence from Brazil," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2016_18, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    6. Brehm, Margaret & Imberman, Scott A. & Lovenheim, Michael F., 2017. "Achievement effects of individual performance incentives in a teacher merit pay tournament," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 133-150.
    7. Hanley Chiang & Cecilia Speroni & Mariesa Herrmann & Kristin Hallgren & Paul Burkander & Alison Wellington, "undated". "Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Final Report on Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance Across Four Years," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 568955b06a2a4b11b954dded8, Mathematica Policy Research.
    8. Alison Wellington & Hanley Chiang & Kristin Heallgren & Cecilia Speroni & Mariesa Herrmann & Paul Burkander, "undated". "Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance After Three Years (Final Report)," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c01a81e283374843b1d4b39ce, Mathematica Policy Research.
    9. Dahal,Mahesh & Nguyen,Quynh T., 2014. "Private non-state sector engagement in the provision of educational services at the primary and secondary levels in South Asia : an analytical review of its role in school enrollment and student achie," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6899, The World Bank.
    10. repec:oup:jeurec:v:15:y:2017:i:4:p:746-783. is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18439. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.