Teaching and Incentives: Substitutes or Complements?

58 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2021 Last revised: 4 Sep 2021

See all articles by James Allen IV

James Allen IV

University of Michigan, Department of Economics; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Arlete Mahumane

Beira Operational Research Center (CIOB)

James Riddell

University of Michigan Medical School

Tanya Rosenblat

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Information

Dean Yang

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics

Hang Yu

Peking University

Date Written: July 2021

Abstract

Interventions to promote learning are often categorized into supply- and demand-side approaches. In a randomized experiment to promote learning about COVID-19 among Mozambican adults, we study the interaction between a supply and a demand intervention, respectively: teaching, and providing financial incentives to learners. In theory, teaching and learner-incentives may be substitutes (crowding out one another) or complements (enhancing one another). Experts surveyed in advance predicted a high degree of substitutability between the two treatments. In contrast, we find substantially more complementarity than experts predicted. Combining teaching and incentive treatments raises COVID-19 knowledge test scores by 0.5 standard deviations.

Suggested Citation

Allen IV, James and Mahumane, Arlete and Riddell, James and Rosenblat, Tanya and Yang, Dean and Yang, Dean and Yu, Hang, Teaching and Incentives: Substitutes or Complements? (July 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w28976, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3880209

James Allen IV (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Department of Economics ( email )

735 S. State Street
Ann Arbor,, MI 48109

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

735 South State Street, Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Arlete Mahumane

Beira Operational Research Center (CIOB) ( email )

Rua Correia de Brito 1323
Sofala Province
Beira City
Mozambique

James Riddell

University of Michigan Medical School ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI
United States

Tanya Rosenblat

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Information ( email )

304 West Hall
550 East University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1092
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.tanyarosenblat.org

Dean Yang

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

440 Lorch Hall
611 Tappan Street
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United States
734-764-6158 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.umich.edu/~deanyang/

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

Hang Yu

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

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