Professor Dean Yang, James Allen IV (Economics PhD), Hang Yu (PhD alumnus), Arlete Mahumane, James Riddell IV, and Tanya Rosenblat released NBER working paper, "Teaching and Incentives: Substitutes or Complements?".


Interventions to promote learning are often categorized into supply- and demand-side approaches. In a randomized experiment to promote learning about COVID-19 among Mozambican adults, we study the interaction between a supply and a demand intervention, respectively: 1) teaching, and 2) providing financial incentives to learners. In theory, teaching and learner-incentives may be substitutes (crowding out one another) or complements (enhancing one another). While experts surveyed in advance predicted that the two would be substitutes, we instead find they are complements. The combination of teaching and incentive treatments has a substantial effect on COVID-19 knowledge test scores, raising them by 0.5 standard deviations.