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Contracting for Educational Achievement

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  • Maria Marta Ferreyra

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

Abstract

We argue that the lack of academic proficiency in K-12 education is due to information asymmetry between the policy-maker, households, and schools. The policy-maker is thus unable to write down efficient contracts to ensure proficiency, and must incur agency costs which, in turn, generate other distortions. We develop a theoretical equilibrium model where schools and households choose their efforts in response to the policy-maker’s incentives. We model public schools as one possible response to informational failures. Unlike private schools, public schools separate the roles of financing and consuming education, thus creating rents for public schools. We develop a computational version of the model that allows us to illustrate the distortions and effects from alternative contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Marta Ferreyra, 2009. "Contracting for Educational Achievement," 2009 Meeting Papers 850, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:850
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    2. Huddart, Steven & Liang, Pierre Jinghong, 2005. "Profit sharing and monitoring in partnerships," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-3), pages 153-187, December.
    3. Chakrabarti, Rajashri, 2008. "Can increasing private school participation and monetary loss in a voucher program affect public school performance? Evidence from Milwaukee," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1371-1393.
    4. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
    5. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
    6. Maria Marta Ferreyra, 2008. "An Empirical Framework for Large-Scale Policy Analysis, with an Application to School Finance Reform in Michigan," 2008 Meeting Papers 609, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
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