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Teaching and Incentives: Substitutes or Complements?

James Allen Iv, Arlete Mahumane, James Riddell Iv, Tanya Rosenblat, Dean Yang () and Hang Yu

No 28976, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Interventions to promote learning are often categorized into supply- and demand-side approaches. In a randomized experiment to promote learning about COVID-19 among Mozambican adults, we study the interaction between a supply and a demand intervention, respectively: teaching via targeted feedback, and providing financial incentives to learners. In theory, teaching and learner-incentives may be substitutes (crowding out one another) or complements (enhancing one another). Experts surveyed in advance predicted a high degree of substitutability between the two treatments. In contrast, we find substantially more complementarity than experts predicted. Combining teaching and incentive treatments raises COVID-19 knowledge test scores by 0.5 standard deviations, though the standalone teaching treatment is the most cost-effective. The complementarity between teaching and incentives persists in the longer run, over nine months post-treatment.

JEL-codes: D90 I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-hrm
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Published as James Allen, Arlete Mahumane, James Riddell, Tanya Rosenblat, Dean Yang, Hang Yu, Teaching and incentives: Substitutes or complements?, Economics of Education Review, Volume 91, 2022

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