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American Economic Review: Vol. 99 No. 4 (September 2009)

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The Effects of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a Randomized Trial

Article Citation

Angrist, Joshua, and Victor Lavy. 2009. "The Effects of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a Randomized Trial." American Economic Review, 99(4): 1384-1414.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.4.1384

Abstract

The Israeli matriculation certificate is a prerequisite for most postsecondary schooling. In a randomized trial, we attempted to increase certification rates among low-achievers with cash incentives. The experiment used a school-based randomization design offering awards to all who passed their exams in treated schools. This led to a substantial increase in certification rates for girls but had no effect on boys. Affected girls had a relatively high ex ante chance of certification. The increase in girls' matriculation rates translated into an increased likelihood of college attendance. Female matriculation rates increased partly because treated girls devoted extra time to exam preparation. (JEL I21, I28, J16)

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Authors

Angrist, Joshua (MIT)
Lavy, Victor (Hebrew U Jerusalem and Royal Holloway, U London)

JEL Classifications

I21: Analysis of Education
I28: Education: Government Policy
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


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