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I analyze a program implemented in Texas schools serving underprivileged populations that pays both students and teachers for passing grades on Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, I find that program adoption is associated with increased AP course and exam taking, increases in the number of students with high SAT/ACT scores, and increases in college matriculation. The rewards don't appear to distort behaviors in undesirable ways, and I present evidence that teachers and students were not simply maximizing rewards. Guidance counselors credit the improvements to greater AP access, changes in social norms towards APs, and better student information.


Suggested Citation
Jackson, C. K. (2007). A little now for a lot later: A look at a Texas advanced placement incentive program. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations site:

Required Publisher Statement
Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University.