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On the design of non-monetary incentives in schools

Gerhard Riener and Valentin Wagner

Education Economics, 2019, vol. 27, issue 3, 223-240

Abstract: We analyze the impact of non-monetary incentives on performance in a mathematics test in secondary schools. While we apply predetermined incentives in two treatments, in a third treatment, pupils can choose one from four incentives – a medal, homework voucher, parent letter or surprise. Overall, we find no impact of non-monetary incentives on test scores. Our estimates are small and statistically not distinguishable from zero. However, due to a lack of power we cannot rule out the possibility of effect sizes that would have positive effects on test score if incentives are self-chosen and negative effects if incentives are predetermined. Nevertheless, we find that pupils who could choose their incentive significantly increased their self-reported learning effort.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/09645292.2019.1586835

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Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:27:y:2019:i:3:p:223-240