Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #799

Multiple Testing and the Distributional Effects of Accountability Incentives in Education

by Steven F. Lehrer, R. Vincent Pohl and Kyungchul Song

RWI Research Network, 03/2019, 33 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-927-8 DOI: 10.4419/86788927



Economic theory that underlies many empirical microeconomic applications predicts that treatment
responses depend on individuals’ characteristics and location on the outcome distribution. Using
data from a large-scale Pakistani school report card experiment, we consider tests for treatment effect
heterogeneity that make corrections for multiple testing to avoid an overestimation of positive treatment
effects. These tests uncover evidence of policy-relevant heterogeneous effects from information provision
on child test scores. Further, our analysis reinforces the importance of preventing the inflation of
false positive conclusions since over 65% of statistically significant quantile treatment effects become
insignificant once corrections for multiple testing are applied.

JEL-Classification: C12, C21, I21, L15

Keywords: Information; student performance; accountability; quantile treatment effects; multiple testing; bootstrap tests