NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Marigee Bacolod

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March 2009Beyond Incentives: Do Schools use Accountability Rewards Productively?
with John DiNardo, Mireille Jacobson: w14775
"Accountability mandates" -- the explicit linking of school funding, resources, and autonomy to student performance on standardized exams -- have proliferated in the last 10 years. In this paper, we examine California's accountability system, which for several years financially rewarded schools based on a deterministic function of test scores. The sharp discontinuity in the assignment rule -- schools that barely missed their target received no funding -- generates "as good as random" assignment of awards for schools near their eligibility threshold and enables us to estimate the (local average) treatment effect of California's financial award program. This design allows us to explore an understudied aspect of accountability systems -- how schools use their financial rewards. Our findings ...

Published: Beyond Incentives Do Schools Use Accountability Rewards Productively? by Marigee Bacolod, John DiNardo, Mireille Jacobson Save to My RAND Print Share Cover: Beyond Incentives Published in: Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, v. 30, no. 1, Jan. 2012, p. 149-163

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