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Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China
Last registered on June 23, 2014

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000411
Initial registration date
Not yet registered
Last updated
June 23, 2014 6:46 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Renmin University of China
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2013-09-27
End date
2014-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In developing countries, educational systems are often designed to serve the elite. This can be true not only at the institutional level, but also within classrooms. Singular focus on competitive entrance examinations leads teachers—even in early grades—to focus on the best students at the expense of those perceived as having less potential. Performance pay schemes, as they are commonly designed, can exacerbate inequality in outcomes by strengthening incentives further for teachers to focus on students with the most potential. In this paper, we present the results from a randomized evaluation designed to test the impact of teacher performance pay (which is increasingly used to address weak incentives facing educators in developing countries) on not only the level, but also the distribution of gains in student achievement. Teachers across 216 schools were randomly assigned to one of three incentive groups or a control group. In the first incentive group (“levels”), teachers were rewarded based on levels of student achievement measured by student scores on year-end standardized exams. In the second group (“gains”), teachers were rewarded based on average gains in student achievement over the course of one school year. In the third incentive group (“pay-for-percentile”), teachers were offered an incentive scheme designed explicitly to allocate teacher effort equally across all students in the class, regardless of baseline achievement (based on the pay-for-percentile scheme proposed by Berlevy and Neal (AER, 2012)).

Another concern for policymakers in the design of teacher performance pay programs is whether the size of the incentive payout—or strength of the incentive—matters in a performance pay program. On the one hand, incentivizing teachers with potentially larger payouts may be more effective than incentivizing teachers with smaller payouts. On the other hand, incentivizing teachers with smaller payouts may be just as effective (and therefore more cost-effective). This would be the case, for example, if there were diminishing marginal returns to providing teachers with performance pay. By using a (4X2) crosscutting experimental design, our randomized experiment also tests whether the size of the payout (large payout versus small payout versus control group) impacts gains in student achievement.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Loyalka, Prashant and Sean Sylvia. 2014. "Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China ." AEA RCT Registry. June 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.411-2.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx"
Intervention Start Date
2013-09-27
Intervention End Date
2014-05-15
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx"
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx"
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx"

Experimental Design Details
see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx"
Randomization Method
see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx"
Randomization Unit
schools (see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx")
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
216 (see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx")
Sample size: planned number of observations
8,000 students (see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx")
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx"
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
see uploaded "Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx"
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Stanford University
IRB Approval Date
2013-09-27
IRB Approval Number
IRB-28344
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Pre-analysis Plan for Pay by Design Teacher Performance Pay Experiment in Rural China FINAL.docx

MD5: c1046d8e600776dda43f1f74bd33ca9b

SHA1: 8c71e956423c97bd81c66ea1c87188db7db70165

Uploaded At: June 21, 2014

Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers