Working Paper

20/048

Recruitment, Effort, and Retention Effects of Performance Contracts for Civil Servants: Experimental Evidence from Rwandan Primary Schools

Authors

Image of Clare Leaver

Clare Leaver

RISE Directorate

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Image of Owen Ozier

Owen Ozier

Williams College

Image of Pieter Serneels

Pieter Serneels

RISE Directorate

University of East Anglia

Image of Andrew Zeitlin

Andrew Zeitlin

RISE Tanzania

Georgetown University

This paper reports on a two-tiered experiment designed to separately identify the selection and effort margins of pay-for-performance (P4P). At the recruitment stage, teacher labor markets were randomly assigned to a pay-for-percentile or fixed-wage contract. Once recruits were placed, an unexpected, incentive-compatible, school-level re-randomization was performed, so that some teachers who applied for a fixed-wage contract ended up being paid by P4P, and vice versa. By the second year of the study, the within-year effort effect of P4P was 0.16 standard deviations of pupil learning, with the total effect rising to 0.20 standard deviations after allowing for selection.

Citation:

Leaver, C. et al. 2020. Recruitment, Effort, and Retention Effects of Performance Contracts for Civil Servants: Experimental Evidence from Rwandan Primary Schools. RISE Working Paper Series. 20/048. https://doi.org/10.35489/BSG-RISE-WP_2020/048