In this paper, we analyze the role that peers play in the decision to apply for voluntary certification programs. We address the question in the Chilean context. Primary and secondary school teachers in Chile voluntarily apply for a pedagogical excellence award. Those who succeed on a set of assessments, receive a six percent annual wage increase for up to ten years and are publicly recognized. We use a sharp regression discontinuity design to identify the causal effect of being certified on peers’ future application for the same certification program. Our findings suggest that being publicly recognized as a teacher of excellence through the AEP certification almost doubles peers’ application to the program, without necessarily lowering the quality of the applicants.
Joint work with Samuel Berlinski