Visiting Speaker Sept. 27, 2019

(Un)Intended Consequences of a Teacher Performance Pay Program

Department of Economics
Dr. Joniada Milla
Friday Sept. 27, 2019
3:00 pm
BAC 239

I use a sharp regression discontinuity design (RDD) to estimate the causal effect of a group pay-for-performance program in the context of secondary education. The program is long-lived and universal in nature. The program design ensures internal and external validity of the causal effects estimated, which is rare in studies that rely on RDD. By combining three Chilean administrative datasets into a unique longitudinal data, I am able to follow all of the teachers in the system that were affected directly by the program and four cohorts of their students. The longitudinal nature of the data allows me to disentangle the underlying mechanisms of the program for both teachers and students by analyzing separately the effect on incumbents and switchers. The design of the program allows for a direct comparison of varying bonus amounts. I use standardized test scores that are immune to "teaching to the test" practices and find that the effect of the program operates through incentives rather than sorting, but these are different by type of school and bonus amount received. The results have direct policy implications.

Joniada Milla is an assistant professor of Economics at Saint Mary’s University, research affiliate at the Institute of Labor Economics and research fellow at the Laboratorio Indterdisciplinario de Estadistica Social. Her research interests are in the fields of Economics of Education, Labor Economics and Social Policy Evaluation. Her research spans across
the following topics: intergenerational transmission of education, determinants of access and persistence in higher education, university quality premium on wages, school effectiveness and teacher performance pay assessment.


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