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Teacher Incentives

Teacher incentives are mechanisms used by the employers, either public or private, to compensate the efforts of teachers and motivate them to perform a certain action. These incentives are designed to align the different interests of employers and teachers in order to increase school quality and students’ performance. Several kinds of incentives are provided to teachers; nevertheless, there is no optimal incentive system because providing a definition of a “good teacher” is in itself difficult, and the motivations to teach go beyond the compensation package.

Historical Background

The concern for the quality of teaching and for the incentives paid to teachers goes back to the 18th century and Adam Smith. He spent some time reflecting on this issue in his book The Wealth of Nations. He compared ...

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