American Economic Review: Vol. 102 No. 5 (August 2012)


Quick Tools:

Print Article Summary
Export Citation
Sign up for Email Alerts Follow us on Twitter


AER - All Issues

AER Forthcoming Articles

Pay for Percentile

Article Citation

Barlevy, Gadi, and Derek Neal. 2012. "Pay for Percentile." American Economic Review, 102(5): 1805-31.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.5.1805


We propose an incentive scheme for educators that links compensation to the ranks of their students within comparison sets. Under certain conditions, this scheme induces teachers to allocate socially optimal levels of effort. Moreover, because this scheme employs only ordinal information, it allows education authorities to employ completely new assessments at each testing date without ever having to equate various assessments. This removes incentives for teachers to teach to a particular assessment form and eliminates opportunities to influence reward pay by corrupting assessment scales. Education authorities can employ separate no-stakes assessment systems to track trends in scaled measures of student achievement. (JEL I21, I28, J33, J45)

Article Full-Text Access

Full-text Article

Additional Materials

Online Appendix (315.26 KB)


Barlevy, Gadi (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
Neal, Derek (U Chicago)

JEL Classifications

I21: Analysis of Education
I28: Education: Government Policy
J33: Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
J45: Public Sector Labor Markets

American Economic Review

Quick Tools:

Sign up for Email Alerts

Follow us on Twitter

Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)


AER - All Issues

AER - Forthcoming Articles

Virtual Field Journals

AEA Member Login:

AEAweb | AEA Journals | Contact Us