The Effectiveness of Classroom Incentives: Experimental Evidence from Kenya


Many students in developing countries still lag behind their grade in learning. Improving human capital among the poor in the developing world is key to lifting this population out of poverty. Individual-level financial incentives to students for a range of outcomes such as reading books, getting better test scores, or grades have shown to yield little to no effects on student achievement at the mean (Angrist and Lavy 2009, Fryer 2011). We conduct a randomized control trial across 225 schools across Kenya with over 30,000 pupils in our study sample to study the effectiveness of group-level non-monetary incentives in Kenya for entire classes of students both in addition to and in place of individual level incentives in order to see whether student effort and positive peer interactions can be better incentivized. We find that group-level incentives raise test scores by over 0.1 standard deviations, while individual level incentives are ineffective.

Last updated on 02/24/2021