Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Financial Incentives and Student Achievement

Financial Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from Randomized

Roland Fryer, Quarterly Journal of Economics, November 2011, Pages 1755-1798

Abstract: This article describes a series of school-based field experiments in over 200 urban schools across three cities designed to better understand the impact of financial incentives on student achievement. In Dallas, students were paid to read books. In New York, students were rewarded for performance on interim assessments. In Chicago, students were paid for classroom grades. I estimate that the impact of financial incentives on student achievement is statistically 0, in each city. Due to a lack of power, however, I cannot rule out the possibility of effect sizes that would have positive returns on investment. The only statistically significant effect is on English-speaking students in Dallas. The article concludes with a speculative discussion of what might account for intercity differences in estimated treatment effects.

Nod to Kevin Lewis

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I saw Fryer give a seminar at Berkeley a month or two ago. He is an engaging speaker and it is incredible what he is able to pull off in public schools. The institutional opposition he encounters for even the smallest programs is depressing.