Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/122939
Authors: 
Wagner, Valentin
Riener, Gerhard
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
DICE Discussion Paper 203
Abstract: 
This paper presents the result of a field experiment on the effectiveness of non-monetary incentives on pupils' achievement on a mathematical multiple choice test. Our sample consists of 2113 pupils of deprived and high-achieving secondary schools in Germany. Based on a pre-study, we compare the effectiveness of (i) a medal (ii) a letter of praise to the parents and (iii) a delegation of choice over incentives. The effect of non-monetary incentives depends on pupils' socio-economic background. While they constitute a potentially cost-effective and easily implementable method of motivation in Non-High Schools, predetermined non-monetary incentives crowd out intrinsic motivation for pupils in High Schools. In contrast, the endogenous choice of the reward increases pupils' willingness to prepare for the test and mitigates the negative effect of predetermined external rewards in High Schools. Additionally, in the delegation treatment, we find that low-achieving pupils typically choose a reward with a higher signaling value to their parents, independent of the school type.
Subjects: 
non-monetary incentives
field experiment
education
incentive choice
effort
socio-economic background
JEL: 
C93
I20
I21
J1
ISBN: 
978-3-86304-202-8
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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