Measuring Success in Education: The Role of Effort on the Test Itself
AbstractUS students often rank poorly on standardized tests that estimate and compare educational achievements. We investigate whether this might reflect not only differences in ability but also differences in effort on the test. We experimentally offer students incentives to put forth effort in two US high schools and four Shanghai high schools. US students improve performance substantially in response to incentives, while Shanghai students—who are top performers on assessments—do not. These results raise the possibility that ranking countries based on low-stakes assessments may not reflect only differences in ability, but also motivation to perform well on the test.
CitationGneezy, Uri, John A. List, Jeffrey A. Livingston, Xiangdong Qin, Sally Sadoff, and Yang Xu. 2019. "Measuring Success in Education: The Role of Effort on the Test Itself." American Economic Review: Insights, 1 (3): 291-308. DOI: 10.1257/aeri.20180633
- C93 Field Experiments
- I21 Analysis of Education
- I26 Returns to Education
- O15 Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- P36 Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions: Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training: Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty