NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

James S. Kim

Harvard University, Graduate School of Education
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Cambridge, MA 02138

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2015Motivation and Incentives in Education: Evidence from a Summer Reading Experiment
with Jonathan Guryan, Kyung Park: w20918
For whom and under what conditions do incentives work in education? In the context of a summer reading program called Project READS, we test whether responsiveness to incentives is positively or negatively related to the student’s baseline level of motivation to read. Elementary school students were mailed books weekly during the summer, mailed books and also offered an incentive to read, or assigned to a control group. We find that students who were more motivated to read at baseline were more responsive to incentives, suggesting that incentives may not effectively target the students whose behavior they are intended to change.

Published: Jonathan Guryan & James S. Kim & Kyung Park, 2016. "Motivation and Incentives in Education: Evidence from a Summer Reading Experiment," Economics of Education Review, . citation courtesy of

November 2014Does Reading During the Summer Build Reading Skills? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in 463 Classrooms
with Jonathan Guryan, David M. Quinn: w20689
There are large gaps in reading skills by family income among school-aged children in the United States. Correlational evidence suggests that reading skills are strongly related to the amount of reading students do outside of school. Experimental evidence testing whether this relationship is causal is lacking. We report the results from a randomized evaluation of a summer reading program called Project READS, which induces students to read more during the summer by mailing ten books to them, one per week. Simple intent-to-treat estimates show that the program increased reading during the summer, and show significant effects on reading comprehension test scores in the fall for third grade girls but not for third grade boys or second graders of either gender. Analyses that take advantage of ...
 
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