Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/224532
Authors: 
Hermes, Henning
Huschens, Martin
Rothlauf, Franz
Schunk, Daniel
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2020: Gender Economics
Abstract: 
Relative performance feedback (RPF) has often been shown to improve effort and performance in the workplace and educational settings. Yet, many studies also document substantial negative effects of RPF, in particular for low-achievers. We study a novel type of RPF designed to overcome these negative effects of RPF on low-achievers by scoring individual performance improvements. With a sample of 400 children, we conduct a class-wise randomized-controlled trial using an e-learning software in regular teaching lessons in primary schools. We demonstrate that this type of RPF significantly increases motivation, effort, and performance in math for low-achieving children, without hurting high-achieving children. Among low-achievers, those receiving more points and moving up in the ranking improved strongest on motivation and math performance. In addition, we document substantial gender differences in response to this type of RPF: improvements in motivation and learning are much stronger for girls. We argue that using this new type of RPF could potentially reduce inequalities, especially in educational settings.
Subjects: 
relative performance feedback
rankings
randomized-controlled trial
education
gender differences
JEL: 
I20
I24
C93
Document Type: 
Conference Paper

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