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ERIC Number: EJ936133
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0272-7757
Conditional Cash Penalties in Education: Evidence from the Learnfare Experiment
Dee, Thomas S.
Economics of Education Review, v30 n5 p924-937 Oct 2011
Wisconsin's influential Learnfare initiative is a conditional cash "penalty" program that sanctions a family's welfare grant when covered teens fail to meet school attendance targets. In the presence of reference-dependent preferences, Learnfare provides uniquely powerful financial incentives for student performance. However, a 10-county random-assignment evaluation suggested that Learnfare had no sustained effects on school enrollment and attendance. This study evaluates the data from this randomized field experiment. In Milwaukee County, the Learnfare procedures were poorly implemented and the random-assignment process failed to produce balanced baseline traits. However, in the nine remaining counties, Learnfare increased school enrollment by 3.5 percent (effect size=0.08) and attendance by 4.5 percent (effect size=0.10). These results suggest that well-designed financial incentives may be an effective mechanism for improving the school persistence of at-risk students at scale. (Contains 9 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail: usjcs@elsevier.com; Web site: http://www.elsevier.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin