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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.
The American Economic Review is a general-interest economics journal. The journal is published quarterly and contains articles on a broad range of topics. Established in 1911, the AER is among the nation's oldest and most respected scholarly journals in the economics profession.