Freakonomics Radio hosts, Steve Levitt talks to Kai Ryssda labout whether it’s effective to pay kids to do well in school.
As Levitt points out, financial incentives are everywhere in life but it is nevertheless a controversial idea to talk about systematically paying schoolkids for better grades. Roland Fryer has experimented and written widely about bribing students (and teachers), and has been both praised and lambasted for it.
This is one of those issues that most people seem to assess based on their prior beliefs (i.e., it’s “wrong” to pay kids for grades because it will kill their intrinsic motivation), and the empirical evidence is at best mixed. But as Levitt discusses, there is at least some reason to think about cash incentives as one helpful tool in our educational fix.