Hugh Macartney - Duke University

Economics of Education
When Oct 30, 2020
from 03:00 PM to 04:15 PM
Where Zoom Link
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Hugh Macartney from Duke University will present "Incentive Design in Education: A Distributional Analysis” (joint with Rob McMillan and Uros Petronijevic).

 

Abstract:  

This paper provides the first empirical analysis to examine how different incentive schemes in education affect the full distribution of student outcomes. Our starting point is an asymmetric hump-shaped relationship between teacher effort and incentive strength, estimated semi-parametrically using exogenous incentive variation and rich administrative data. We recover the primitives underlying this effort function, showing they can be identified by estimating a flexible effort-choice model. The model and resulting estimates are key inputs to a counterfactual framework we propose for tracing the unstudied effects of alternative accountability systems on the entire test score distribution, allowing effort to adjust endogenously. We find that widespread fixed-target systems give rise to a steep performance-inequality tradeoff; further, existing schemes can be modified to reduce test score inequality while improving average student performance at no extra cost. Overall, the combined estimation-simulation approach opens up new possibilities for incentive design in practice.

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