Recruitment, effort, and retention effects of performance contracts for civil servants: Experimental evidence from Rwandan primary schools

Clare Leaver, Owen Ozier, Pieter Serneels, Andrew Zeitlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2213–2246
Number of pages34
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number7
Early online date1 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

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