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Carrot and stick?: Impact of a low-stakes school accountability program on student achievement

Seokjin Woo, Soohyung Lee and Kyunghee Kim

Economics Letters, 2015, vol. 137, issue C, 195-199

Abstract: A key concern in the design of education policies relates to the structure of incentives in accountability systems. This paper examines a school accountability program that provides financial support to low-performing schools but has no direct punishment scheme for recipients who do not exhibit improvement. Although the program does not include high-stakes consequences, our estimates indicate that the program reduced the share of underperforming students by 18%. This paper’s results suggest that to improve student achievement, a school accountability program does not need to set high-stakes consequences that potentially induce unwanted strategic behaviors on the part of school workers.

Keywords: School accountability; Student achievement; School performance; Fuzzy regression discontinuity design (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C5 I2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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