Pay-for-performance programs have become an increasingly popular way to boost teacher incetives and improve student learning. But little is known about the effects of these programs on the overall composition of a country’s teacher corps, especially in low income countries. Does the salary boost create incentives for more skilled and passionate young professionals to become teachers? Or does it have the opposite effect, in that it minimizes intrinsic motivation and instead attracts people interested only in a more attractive salary?
Researchers:Research area: Education
Evaluation Sample: 300 schools
Timeline: 2013 - 2017
Intervention: Pay-for-performance, incentives
Researchers: Owen Ozier, World Bank; Clare Leaver, University of Oxford; Pieter Serneels, University of East Anglia; Andrew Zeitlin, Georgetown University
In Rwanda, where teacher accountability is low, development experts are working closely with policy makers in the country’s Ministry of Education to better attract and retain skilled and motivated teachers through pay-for-performance schemes. Although incentives are already built into teacher salaries in Rwanda, researchers are exploring an additional bonus program that rewards teachers who score within the top 20 percent of their district with an even greater salary boost. Policy makers are hoping that results will help the government recruit well-qualified teachers and more effectively structure civil service contracts so that the country’s top talent remains in the education sector, particularly in rural areas. The results will also shed light on the ways that pay-for-performance programs can help improve student learning.