Aligning Learning Incentives of Students and Teachers: Results from a Social Experiment in Mexican High Schools

Jere Behrman, University of Pennsylvania
Susan Parker, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)
Petra Todd, University of Pennsylvania
Kenneth Wolpin, University of Pennsylvania

This paper evaluates the impact of three different performance incentives schemes using data from a social experiment that randomized 88 Mexican high schools into three treatment groups and a control group. Treatment one provides individual incentives to students only, treatment two to teachers only and treatment three gives both individual and group incentives to students, teachers and school administrators. Program impact estimates after 3 years reveal large and statistically significant average effects of the two treatments that gave student incentives on mathematics test scores, with the largest impact (between 0.3-0.4 std. dev.) observed for the combined student and teacher incentive program. Providing incentives to teachers only (treatment two) has no discernible effect on test scores.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 149: New Evidence on School Reforms and Child Outcomes