The Effect of Financial Rewards on Students' Achievements: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

31 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2003

See all articles by Edwin Leuven

Edwin Leuven

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Hessel Oosterbeek

University of Amsterdam - Research Institute in Economics & Econometrics (RESAM); Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Bas van der Klaauw

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: June 2003

Abstract

This Paper reports a randomized field experiment in which first year economics and business students at the University of Amsterdam could earn financial rewards for passing all first year requirements before the start of their second academic year. Participants were assigned to a high reward group, a low reward group or a no reward (control) group. Overall, the passing rate and the numbers of collected credit point are not significantly different across the three groups. The same is true for the reported amounts of study time. We find, however, some evidence of heterogenous treatment effects. In particular, students with high maths skills and students with higher educated fathers have higher passing rates and collect more credit points when assigned to (higher) reward groups. While reported study time for these groups is not affected by treatment status, these students claim that they have studied harder as a consequence of the rewards.

Keywords: Financial incentives, student acheivement, randomized social experiment, heterogenous treatment effects, university education

JEL Classification: I21, I22, J24

Suggested Citation

Leuven, Edwin and Oosterbeek, Hessel and van der Klaauw, Bas, The Effect of Financial Rewards on Students' Achievements: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment (June 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=428101

Edwin Leuven

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 5241 (Phone)
+31 20 525 4310 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Hessel Oosterbeek

University of Amsterdam - Research Institute in Economics & Econometrics (RESAM) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4242 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5283 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fee.uva.nl/scholar/oosterbeek/

Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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

Bas Van der Klaauw (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6120 (Phone)
+31 20 444 6005 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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