Monday, September 14, 2009

Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India

This paper uses an RCT to evaluate the effect of performance pay for teachers. Well, it works but the effect sizes look small to me: about a 30% bonus to up the standard deviation by about .2? An expensive policy I think.

Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence
Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman

Performance pay for teachers is frequently suggested as a way of improving education outcomes in schools, but the theoretical predictions regarding its effectiveness are ambiguous and the empirical evidence to date is limited and mixed. We present results from a randomized evaluation of a teacher incentive program implemented across a large representative sample of government-run rural primary schools in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The program provided bonus payments to teachers based on the average improvement of their students' test scores in independently administered learning assessments (with a mean bonus of 30% of monthly pay). At the end of two years of the program, students in incentive schools performed significantly better than those in control schools by 0.28 and 0.16 standard deviations in math and language tests respectively. They scored significantly higher on "conceptual" as well as "mechanical" com ponents

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