Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Research Seminar Series (RSS)

Putting ‘Pay-for-Performance’ to the Test: The Effects of Rewarding Teacher Attendance in Uganda

Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Featuring
Andrew Zeitlin
Assistant Professor
Georgetown University

Discussant
David Evans
Senior Economist
World Bank Africa Region

Host
Justin Sandefur
Research Fellow
Center for Global Development

Financial incentives may reduce teacher absence and improve student performance, but they may also lead teachers and schools to simply exaggerate attendance. Zeitlin and co-authors report on an experiment in Uganda that combined pay-for-performance for teachers with a separate experiment that enlisted local parents to independently monitor teacher absence and report back via mobile phone.

When teachers were paid for attending school, their actual attendance increased, and so did the number of false reports. But the increase in bad information was more than offset by an increase in total information from parental monitoring, providing administrators with a more reliable overall picture of teacher absence. Despite inducing false reports, the results suggest that social welfare was higher with financial incentives.

The CIRF series is an academic research seminar that brings some of the world's leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations are at times technical, but retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policymakers. There’s more about the series here.

Related Experts

Non-Resident Fellow
Photo of David Evans
Senior Fellow
Photo of Justin Sandefur
Senior Fellow

Thursday, October 23, 2014
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
**Please bring your lunch, beverages will be provided**