Enhancing the Efficacy of Teacher Incentives through Framing: A Field Experiment
Roland G. Fryer
Steven D. Levitt
- American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (Forthcoming)
In a field experiment, we provide financial incentives to teachers framed either as
gains, received at the end of the year, or as losses, in which teachers receive up-front bonuses that must be paid back if their students do not improve sufficiently.
Pooling two waves of the experiment, loss-framed incentives improve math achievement by an estimated 0.124 standard deviations (σ) with large effects in the first
wave and no effects in the second wave. Effects for gain framed incentives are
smaller and not statistically significant, approximately 0.051σ. We find suggestive evidence that the effects on teacher value added persist post-treatment.
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