Teacher performance pay: Experimental evidence from Pakistan

Type Journal Article - Journal of Public Economics
Title Teacher performance pay: Experimental evidence from Pakistan
Volume 148
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 75-91
URL http://felipe-barrera-osorio.gse.harvard.edu/files/gse-felipe-barrera-osorio/files/pakistan-punjab_i​mprovers_v11_jpubliceconomics_rr.pdf
We present evidence from the first three years of a randomized controlled trial of a governmentadministered
pilot teacher performance pay program in Punjab, Pakistan. The program offers yearly
cash bonuses to teachers in a sample of 600 public primary schools with the lowest mean student
exam scores in the province. The bonus is linked to the change in the school’s average student exam
scores, the change in the school’s enrollment, and the level of student exam participation in the
school. Bonus receipt and size are randomly assigned across schools according to whether or not
the teacher is the school’s head. The program increases student exam participation rates in the
second and third year and increases enrollment in grade 1 in the third year. We do not find that the
program increases student exam scores in any year. Mean impacts are similar across program
variants. The absence of positive impacts on test scores may be due to weaknesses in the program’s
incentive structure and/or limitations in the program’s administrative data.

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