Skilled and intrinsically motivated public sector employees are critical to state capacity and the provision of key services, including education. Yet the capability to recruit, motivate, and retain this profile of civil servants remains a challenge in many developing countries, like Rwanda, where rates of teachers quitting are high and vacant positions are challenging to fill. This projects tests whether performance contracts for teachers in Rwanda can improve teacher performance and student learning by inducing greater effort from existing teachers, or supporting the recruitment and retention of skilled and intrinsically motivated teachers. Using a two-tiered randomized, controlled trial that distinguishes compositional effects from effort responses of individual teachers, the evaluation measures the impacts of a pay-for-performance contract relative to a fixed-wage contract on applications to teaching positions, learning outcomes, and teacher retention. Results from this study will provide the first developing-country experimental evidence of the effects of performance pay on selection into the civil service, and will shed light on the possible trade-offs between skill and intrinsic motivation underlying these compositional effects.
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