Can social recognition for teachers and principals improve student performance? Evidence from India


Economics, Finance and Quantitative Analysis

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Empirical evidence on the effectiveness of performance-based rewards for teachers is primarily based on the evaluation of monetary reward schemes. We present results from a randomized evaluation of a teacher and principal incentive programme in India that offered a non-pecuniary recognition reward based on students’ test scores on standardized assessments. We find a positive (0.16 SD) yet statistically insignificant effect on student performance when both teachers and principals are incentivized. In schools where only teachers are incentivized, the estimates remain statistically insignificant but are also much smaller in magnitude (0.012 SD). Our findings provide suggestive evidence that recognition rewards may have the potential as a low-cost tool to improve student achievement when both teachers and principals are incentivized. However, further research is required to substantiate the findings and investigate the mechanisms at play.

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Applied Economics Letters

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