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

  • Jain, Tarun
  • Narayan, Tulika

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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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 18672.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18672
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  1. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  2. David Reiley & John List, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilov√° & Jonathan Morduch, 2008. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence From Rural India," Working Papers IES 2008/28, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2008.
  4. Basu, Kaushik, 2006. "Participatory Equity, Identity, and Productivity: Policy Implications for Promoting Development," Working Papers 06-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  5. Sonalde Desai & Veena Kulkarni, 2008. "Changing educational inequalities in india in the context of affirmative action," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 245-270, May.
  6. Rema Hanna & Leigh Linden, 2010. "Measuring Discrimination in Education," Working Papers id:2541, eSocialSciences.
  7. Paul Glewwe & Nauman Ilias & Michael Kremer, 2003. "Teacher Incentives," NBER Working Papers 9671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Karla Hoff & Priyanka Pandey, 2006. "Discrimination, Social Identity, and Durable Inequalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 206-211, May.
  11. Bram Cadsby, Charles & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1998. "Choosing between a socially efficient and free-riding equilibrium: Nurses versus economics and business students," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 183-192, October.
  12. Victor Lavy, 2002. "Evaluating the Effect of Teachers' Group Performance Incentives on Pupil Achievement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1286-1317, December.
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