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Performance Pay and Teachers' Effort, Productivity, and Grading Ethics

Victor Lavy
The American Economic Review
Vol. 99, No. 5 (Dec., 2009), pp. 1979-2011
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25592544
Page Count: 33
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Performance Pay and Teachers' Effort, Productivity, and Grading Ethics
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Abstract

This paper presents evidence about the effect of individual monetary incentives on English and math teachers in Israel. Teachers were rewarded with cash bonuses for improving their students' performance in high-school matriculation exams. The main identification strategy is based on measurement error in the assignment to treatment variable that produced a randomized treatment sample. The incentives led to significant improvements in test taking rates, conditional pass rates, and mean test scores. Improvements were mediated through changes in teaching methods, enhanced after-school teaching, and increased responsiveness to students' needs. No evidence was found of manipulation of test scores by teachers.

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