Understanding the Response to High-Stakes Incentives in Primary Education
The paper studies responses to high-stakes incentives arising from early ability tracking to better understand the impact of external incentives on student achievement. We use three complementary research designs exploiting differences in school track admission rules at the end of primary school in Germany’s early ability tracking system. Our results show that having to perform well to qualify for a better track raises students’ math, reading, listening, and orthography skills in grade 4, the final grade before tracking. Evidence from self-reported behavior suggests that these effects are driven by greater study effort but not parental responses. However, we also observe that stronger incentives decrease students' well-being and intrinsic motivation to study.
Please note that this event takes place in English only with no translation.
The event is part of the WZB Talks series.