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Learning from praise: Evidence from a field experiment with teachers

Maria Cotofan

Journal of Public Economics, 2021, vol. 204, issue C

Abstract: Financial incentive programs for teachers are increasingly common, but little is known about the effectiveness of non-monetary incentives in improving educational outcomes. This field experiment measures how repeated public praise for the best teachers impacts student performance. In treated schools, the students of praised teachers perform better on standardized exams undertaken six months after the intervention. Praised teachers also assign higher marks to their students two months after the intervention. The students of teachers who are not praised in treated schools are assigned lower marks two months after the intervention, but they do not perform any worse on final exams. Compared to costly interventions where teachers receive financial incentives, the effects of public praise for praised teachers are remarkably large.

Keywords: Public praise; Non-monetary incentives; Field experiment; Teacher performance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 I21 J3 J45 J53 M52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2021.104540

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