Given the important role that school district administrators
play in the educational process, one might expect their
"performance" to be of fundamental importance in determining both
how much students learn and the cost of public education to
taxpayers. Yet, while public debate has considered the issue of
merit pay plans for teachers, virtually no attention has been
directed to the methods by which school administrators are
This paper provides evidence on whether school superintendents
are explicitly or implicitly rewarded for their
"performance" by higher compensation and/or greater opportunities
for mobility. We analyze panel data from over 700 school
'districts in New Ycrk State during the 1978-79 to 1982-83 period.
Measures of performance are defined and then entered into salary
level, salary change, and mobility equations. While evidence is
provided that school superintendents are rewarded for
"performance", the magnitude of the rewards appear to be quite
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