NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Lawrence Kenny

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October 2006Individual Teacher Incentives And Student Performance
with David N. Figlio, Lawrence Kenny: w12627
This paper is the first to systematically document the relationship between individual teacher performance incentives and student achievement using United States data. We combine data from the National Education Longitudinal Survey on schools, students, and their families with our own survey conducted in 2000 regarding the use of teacher incentives. This survey on teacher incentives has unique data on frequency and magnitude of merit raises and bonuses, teacher evaluation, and teacher termination. We find that test scores are higher in schools that offer individual financial incentives for good performance. Moreover, the estimated relationship between the presence of merit pay in teacher compensation and student test scores is strongest in schools that may have the least parental overs...

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