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

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Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:313-342 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.
    3. repec:rom:mancon:v:11:y:2017:i:1:p:457-461 is not listed on IDEAS

    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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