Date of Graduation

Spring 5-22-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Alessandra Cassar


A substantial body of literature has focused on educational attainment and children’s performance to foster human capital. Despite the common goal, there is a debate on how to best approach it (Duflo et al. 2013). While in some studies incentives are effective in changing people’s behavior, by inducing more effort and higher performance, other works point to crowding out of intrinsic motivations and other externalities. This study reports the results of an experiment conducted with children usually working in the streets of Tehran (Iran) on the effectiveness of non-monetary incentives on school attendance and related behaviors. My within-subject design (dictated by severe restrictions in terms of subject pool and harmless of the incentive given how vulnerable the subject pool is) consisting of making ice cream at alternating dates and giving it to all children present that day at the NGO school. The data show significant evidence that the treatment increases the probability of attendance by 13% (p