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Student Incentives

Recently, economists have proposed providing financial incentives for students to improve their academic performance. These are usually provided in the form of cash or prizes given to students for high performance on exams or meeting other academic benchmarks. This strategy for improving student outcomes derives from the simple idea that if you pay someone to do something, they will be more likely to do it. Outside of education, this has been shown to be the case both in the laboratory and in real life. Thus, one might expect this rule to apply to students as well. Nonetheless, the empirical evidence on the effectiveness of student incentives has been mixed. Thus, whether financial incentives can be effectively used to improve student performance remains a key open ...

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