Teaching in the Lab: Financial Incentives in the Education Processs

Date: 2012-04
By: Christoph Helbach
Klemens Keldenich
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rwi:repape:0328&r=net
This study uses a laboratory experiment to analyze the effectiveness of performance-based monetary incentives in the teaching process. The process of knowledge transmission is recreated using a video-stream. Four different teacher payment schemes are compared, three of which depend on the student‘s success. Furthermore, the experiment is done with two different subject pools: prospective teachers and regular students. Results indicate that prospective teachers do not react to monetary incentives in the given task. However, regular students do react in the expected way: Teachers transmit a significantly higher share of their knowledge when paid according to student performance.
Keywords: Education; monetary incentives; video analysis
JEL: C91

On the Generalizability of Experimental Results in Economics

Date: 2012-03
By: Omar Al-Ubaydli
John A. List
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17957&r=net
Economists are increasingly turning to the experimental method as a means to estimate causal effects. By using randomization to identify key treatment effects, theories previously viewed as untestable are now scrutinized, efficacy of public policies are now more easily verified, and stakeholders can swiftly add empirical evidence to aid their decision-making. This study provides an overview of experimental methods in economics, with a special focus on developing an economic theory of generalizability. Given that field experiments are in their infancy, our secondary focus pertains to a discussion of the various parameters that they identify, and how they add to scientific knowledge. We conclude that until we conduct more field experiments that build a bridge between the lab and the naturally-occurring settings of interest we cannot begin to make strong conclusions empirically on the crucial question of generalizability from the lab to the field.