Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Alessandra Cassar


This research uses an experimental design to investigate how incentive structure influences goal achievement among disadvantaged high school students in Medellin, Colombia. Of particular interest is how treatment effects influence school performance as well as how this may vary with differing key characteristics of the participants. Medellin, Colombia, like much of South America suffers from high levels of inequality in the city proper. Improving educational outcomes in impoverished neighborhoods is essential for the growth of these neighborhoods and the greater community in which they are located. The model used in this experiment is inspired by the Family Independence Initiative (FII). This research finds that conditional incentives in particular play a significant role in determining the achievement of objectives and that those participants in the conditional incentive treatment tend to perform better after the conclusion of the experiment.