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Teaching Students and Teaching Each Other: The Importance of Peer Learning for Teachers

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  • C. Kirabo Jackson
  • Elias Bruegmann

Abstract

Using longitudinal elementary school teacher and student data, we document that students have larger test score gains when their teachers experience improvements in the observable characteristics of their colleagues. Using within-school and within-teacher variation, we show that a teacher's students have larger achievement gains in math and reading when she has more effective colleagues (based on estimated value-added from an out-of-sample pre-period). Spillovers are strongest for less experienced teachers and persist over time, and historical peer quality explains away about 20 percent of the own-teacher effect, results that suggest peer learning. (JEL I21, J24, J45)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 85-108

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:4:p:85-108

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.4.85
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References

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  1. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Social Incentives in the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 4190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ichino, Andrea & Maggi, Giovanni, 2000. "Work Environment And Individual Background: Explaining Regional Shirking Differentials In A Large Italian Firm," CEPR Discussion Papers 2387, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jonathan Guryan & Kory Kroft & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2009. "Peer Effects in the Workplace: Evidence from Random Groupings in Professional Golf Tournaments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 34-68, October.
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  5. Harminder Battu & Clive R. Belfield & Peter J. Sloane, 2003. "Human Capital Spillovers within the Workplace: Evidence for Great Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(5), pages 575-594, December.
  6. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role Of Information And Social Interactions In Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence From A Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842, August.
  7. Cory Koedel, 2008. "An Empirical Analysis of Teacher Spillover Effects in Secondary School," Working Papers 0808, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  8. Clotfelter, Charles T. & Ladd, Helen F. & Vigdor, Jacob, 2005. "Who teaches whom? Race and the distribution of novice teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 377-392, August.
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  10. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  11. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2009. "Student Demographics, Teacher Sorting, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from the End of School Desegregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 213-256, 04.
  12. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2008. "Can Principals Identify Effective Teachers? Evidence on Subjective Performance Evaluation in Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 101-136.
  13. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Jialan Wang, 2010. "Superstar Extinction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 549-589, May.
  14. Irwin, Douglas A & Klenow, Peter J, 1994. "Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1200-1227, December.
  15. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2013. "Match Quality, Worker Productivity, and Worker Mobility: Direct Evidence from Teachers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1096-1116, October.
  2. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "Can Higher-Achieving Peers Explain the Benefits to Attending Selective Schools?: Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," NBER Working Papers 16598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. C. Kirabo Jackson & Henry S. Schneider, 2010. "Do Social Connections Reduce Moral Hazard? Evidence from the New York City Taxi Industry," NBER Working Papers 16279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jason A. Grissom & Susanna Loeb & Nathaniel Nakashima, 2013. "Strategic Involuntary Teacher Transfers and Teacher Performance: Examining Equity and Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 19108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jackson, C. Kirabo, 2012. "School competition and teacher labor markets: Evidence from charter school entry in North Carolina," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 431-448.
  6. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2012. "Teacher Quality at the High-School Level: The Importance of Accounting for Tracks," NBER Working Papers 17722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2012. "Non-Cognitive Ability, Test Scores, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from 9th Grade Teachers in North Carolina," NBER Working Papers 18624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Goldhaber, Dan & Walch, Joe, 2012. "Strategic pay reform: A student outcomes-based evaluation of Denver's ProComp teacher pay initiative," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1067-1083.
  9. Jain, Tarun & Narayan, Tulika, 2009. "Incentive to discriminate? An experimental investigation of teacher incentives in India," MPRA Paper 18672, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Eric Isenberg & Bing-ru Teh & Elias Walsh, 2013. "Elementary School Data Issues: Implications for Research Using Value-Added Models," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7948, Mathematica Policy Research.
  11. Rebitzer, James B. & Taylor, Lowell J., 2010. "Extrinsic Rewards and Intrinsic Motives: Standard and Behavioral Approaches to Agency and Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 5058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Cornelissen, Thomas & Dustmann, Christian & Schönberg, Uta, 2013. "Peer Effects in the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 7617, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Rebecca Allen & Jay Allnutt, 2013. "Matched panel data estimates of the impact of Teach First on school and departmental performance," DoQSS Working Papers 13-11, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  14. Goldhaber, Dan & Liddle, Stephanie & Theobald, Roddy, 2013. "The gateway to the profession: Assessing teacher preparation programs based on student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 29-44.
  15. Ali Protik & Steven Glazerman & Julie Bruch & Bing-ru Teh, 2013. "Staffing a Low-Performing School: Behavioral Responses to Selective Teacher Transfer Incentives," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7996, Mathematica Policy Research.
  16. Strain, Michael R., 2013. "Single-sex classes & student outcomes: Evidence from North Carolina," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 73-87.
  17. Sass, Tim R. & Hannaway, Jane & Xu, Zeyu & Figlio, David N. & Feng, Li, 2012. "Value added of teachers in high-poverty schools and lower poverty schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 104-122.

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