Pay for Locally Monitored Performance? A Welfare Analysis for Teacher Attendance in Ugandan Primary Schools

58 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2018

See all articles by Jacobus Cilliers

Jacobus Cilliers

University of Oxford

Ibrahim Kasirye

Economic Policy Research Centre, Uganda

Clare Leaver

University of Oxford

Pieter M. Serneels

University of East Anglia (UEA)

Andrew Zeitlin

Georgetown University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

To achieve the twin objectives of incentivizing agent performance and providing information for planning purposes, public sector organizations often rely on reports by local monitors that are costly to verify. Received wisdom has it that attaching financial incentives to these reports will result in collusion, and undermine both objectives. Simple bargaining logic, however, suggests the reverse: pay for locally monitored performance could incentivize desired behavior and improve information. To investigate this issue, we conducted a randomized controlled trial in Ugandan primary schools that explored how incentives for teachers could be designed when based on local monitoring by head teachers. Our experiment randomly varied whether head teachers' reports of teacher attendance were tied to teacher bonus payments or not. We find that local monitoring on its own is ineffective at improving teacher attendance. However, combining local monitoring with finanacial incentives leads to both an increase in teacher attendance (by 8 percentage points) and an improvement in the quality of information. We also observe substantial gains in pupil attainment, driven primarily by a reduction in dropouts. By placing a financial value on these enrollment gains, we demonstrate that pay for locally monitored performance passes both welfare and fiscal sustainability tests.

Keywords: Performance pay; Monitoring; Campbell's law; Field experiment; Education; Welfare; Uganda.

JEL Classification: D61, H52, I25, I26, O15

Suggested Citation

Cilliers, Jacobus and Kasirye, Ibrahim and Leaver, Clare and Serneels, Pieter M. and Zeitlin, Andrew, Pay for Locally Monitored Performance? A Welfare Analysis for Teacher Attendance in Ugandan Primary Schools (April 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12836. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3159138

Jacobus Cilliers (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Ibrahim Kasirye

Economic Policy Research Centre, Uganda ( email )

Plot 51 Pool Road
PO Box 7841
Kampala
Uganda

Clare Leaver

University of Oxford ( email )

Department of Economics
Manor Road Building
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom
44(0)1865 271952 (Phone)

Pieter M. Serneels

University of East Anglia (UEA) ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Andrew Zeitlin

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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