Getting Better Students to Become Teachers: The Effects of Targeted Tuition Subsidies


In this paper we document the effects of incentives aimed at shifting high achieving students into the teaching profession in Chile. The education system in Chile has recently resolved issues associated with coverage of schooling and has been transiting towards focusing on problems associated with the quality and equity of education provision, where teacher quality has been a major focus. The government of Chile implemented a policy in 2010 that gave full scholarships and other incentives such as stipends and travel for students who matriculate at teaching colleges with scores from the highest 30% of the admissions test distribution. Colleges however needed to implement a cutoff score of the 50th percentile if they were to be eligible. The results of this ”carrots and sticks” policy was that the proportion of high achieving students rose by approximately 50%, although enrollment from the lower end of the distribution continued high at non participating institutions. Using a regression discontinuity empirical design it is shown that the probability of choosing the teaching profession rose by 40% to 200% at different point of the distribution. The effects were found to be greater for students who were male and who came from public schools or families with lower income levels.

  • Coauthors: Macarena Alvarado, Fabian Duarte
  • Published: MINEDUC WP 2011
  • Date: 2011
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