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