NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Incentives to Learn

Michael Kremer, Edward Miguel, Rebecca Thornton

NBER Working Paper No. 10971
Issued in December 2004
NBER Program(s):   EFG   ED   CH

We report results from a randomized evaluation of a merit scholarship program for adolescent girls in Kenya. Girls who scored well on academic exams had their school fees paid and received a cash grant for school supplies. Girls eligible for the scholarship showed significant gains in academic exam scores (average gain 0.12-0.19 standard deviations) and these gains persisted following the competition. There is also evidence of positive program externalities on learning: boys, who were ineligible for the awards, also showed sizeable average test gains, as did girls with low pretest scores, who were unlikely to win. Both student and teacher school attendance increased in the program schools. We discuss implications both for understanding the nature of educational production functions and for the policy debate surrounding merit scholarships.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10971

Published:

  • Kremer, Michael, Edward Miguel and Rebecca Thornton. “Incentives to Learn.” Education Next: a Journal of Opinion and Research 5, 2 (Spring 2005): 57-64.
  • Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 437-456, August. citation courtesy of

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