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Incentive to discriminate? An experimental investigation of teacher incentives in India

Author

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  • Jain, Tarun
  • Narayan, Tulika

Abstract

We address the challenge of designing performance-based incentive schemes for schoolteachers. When teachers specialize in different subjects in the presence of social prejudice, performance based pay which depends on the average of student performance can cause teachers to coordinate their effort in high status students and away from low status students. Laboratory experiments conducted in India with future teachers as subjects show that performance-based pay causes teachers to decrease effort in low caste Hindu students compared to upper caste Hindu or Muslim students. We observe greater effort and lower intra-class variation when teachers are penalized if students receive zero scores.

Suggested Citation

  • Jain, Tarun & Narayan, Tulika, 2009. "Incentive to discriminate? An experimental investigation of teacher incentives in India," MPRA Paper 18672, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18672
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Sonalde Desai & Veena Kulkarni, 2008. "Changing educational inequalities in india in the context of affirmative action," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(2), pages 245-270, May.
    3. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    4. Paul Glewwe & Nauman Ilias & Michael Kremer, 2010. "Teacher Incentives," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 205-227, July.
    5. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilova & Jonathan Morduch, 2012. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence from Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1118-1139, April.
    6. C. Kirabo Jackson & Elias Bruegmann, 2009. "Teaching Students and Teaching Each Other: The Importance of Peer Learning for Teachers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 85-108, October.
    7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    8. Rema Hanna & Leigh Linden, 2009. "Measuring Discrimination in Education," NBER Working Papers 15057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Facundo Albornoz & Samuel Berlinski & Antonio Cabrales, 2016. "Motivation, Resources and the Organization of the School System," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7750, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Facundo Albornoz & Samuel Berlinski & Antonio Cabrales, 2016. "Motivation, Resources and the Organization of the School System," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 94958, Inter-American Development Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Teacher incentives; Laboratory experiments; Coordination games; Discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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