Paying to Learn: The Effect of Financial Incentives on Elementary School Test Scores

Author/s: 

Eric P. Bettinger

Year of Publication: 
2011

Policymakers and academics are increasingly interested in applying financial incentives to individuals in education. This paper presents evidence from a pay-for-performance program taking place in Coshocton, Ohio. Since 2004, Coshocton has provided cash payments to students in grades 3 through 6 for successful completion of their standardized testing. Coshocton determined eligibility for the program using randomization. Using this randomization, this paper identifies the effects of the program on students' academic behavior. We find that math scores improved about 0.15 standard deviations but that reading, social science, and science test scores did not improve.

Primary Research Area:

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APA Citation

Bettinger, E.P. (2011). Paying to Learn: The Effect of Financial Incentives on Elementary School Test Scores.