Altruism or Money? Reducing Teacher Sorting using Behavioral Strategies in Peru

Posted: 11 Sep 2020 Last revised: 16 Jan 2023

See all articles by Nicolas Ajzenman

Nicolas Ajzenman

McGill University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Eleonora Bertoni

University of Turin - Collegio Carlo Alberto

Gregory Elacqua

Universidad Diego Portales - Facultad de Economía y Empresa

Luana Marotta

Inter-American Development Bank

Carolina Mendez Vargas

Inter-American Development Bank

Date Written: July 30, 2020

Abstract

Inequality in access to high-quality teachers is an important driver of socioeconomic student achievement gaps. We experimentally evaluate a novel nation-wide low-cost government program that deployed two behavioral strategies to motivate teachers to apply to job vacancies in disadvantaged schools. These strategies consisted of an "Altruistic Identity" treatment, which primed teachers’ altruistic identity by making it more salient, and an "Extrinsic Incentives" treatment, which simplified the presentation and increased the salience of an existing government monetary-incentive scheme that rewards teachers who work in underprivileged institutions. Both strategies successfully encouraged teaching candidates to apply to (and rank higher in their preferences) disadvantaged schools. These institutions are typically the least demanded schools, serving lower-performing students and with lower-performing teachers.

Keywords: Identity, Monetary incentives, Priming, Altruism, Prosocial behavior, Teacher sorting

JEL Classification: D91, I24, I25

Suggested Citation

Ajzenman, Nicolás and Bertoni, Eleonora and Elacqua, Gregory and Marotta, Luana and Mendez Vargas, Carolina, Altruism or Money? Reducing Teacher Sorting using Behavioral Strategies in Peru (July 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3664284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3664284

Nicolás Ajzenman (Contact Author)

McGill University - Department of Economics ( email )

855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC H3A 2T7
CANADA

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Eleonora Bertoni

University of Turin - Collegio Carlo Alberto ( email )

via Real Collegio 30
Moncalieri, Torino 10024
Italy

Gregory Elacqua

Universidad Diego Portales - Facultad de Economía y Empresa

Manuel Rodriguez Sur 253
Santiago
Chile

Luana Marotta

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

1300 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Carolina Mendez Vargas

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

1300 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

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