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Motivation and Incentives in Education: Evidence from a Summer Reading Experiment

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  • Jonathan Guryan
  • James S. Kim
  • Kyung Park

Abstract

For whom and under what conditions do incentives work in education? In the context of a summer reading program called Project READS, we test whether responsiveness to incentives is positively or negatively related to the student’s baseline level of motivation to read. Elementary school students were mailed books weekly during the summer, mailed books and also offered an incentive to read, or assigned to a control group. We find that students who were more motivated to read at baseline were more responsive to incentives, suggesting that incentives may not effectively target the students whose behavior they are intended to change.

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  • Jonathan Guryan & James S. Kim & Kyung Park, 2015. "Motivation and Incentives in Education: Evidence from a Summer Reading Experiment," NBER Working Papers 20918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20918
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    Cited by:

    1. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.
    2. Catalina RADU & George MATEESCU, 2018. "Board Games And Social Interaction €“ Fashion Or Real Priorities In The Digital Era?," Proceedings of the INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 12(1), pages 358-366, November.
    3. Ioana CALINESCU, 2017. "Modern Education And Motivation In The Educational Process," Proceedings of the INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 11(1), pages 457-461, November.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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