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The impact of teacher subject knowledge on student achievement: Evidence from within-teacher within-student variation

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  • Metzler, Johannes
  • Woessmann, Ludger

Abstract

Teachers differ greatly in how much they teach their students, but little is known about which teacher attributes account for this. We estimate the causal effect of teacher subject knowledge on student achievement using within-teacher within-student variation, exploiting a unique Peruvian 6th-grade dataset that tested both students and their teachers in two subjects. Observing teachers teaching both subjects in one-classroom-per-grade schools, we circumvent omitted-variable and selection biases using a correlated random effects model that identifies from differences between the two subjects. After measurement-error correction, one standard deviation in subject-specific teacher achievement increases student achievement by about 9% of a standard deviation in math. Effects in reading are significantly smaller and mostly not significantly different from zero. Effects also depend on the teacher-student match in ability and gender.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 99 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 486-496

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:99:y:2012:i:2:p:486-496

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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Keywords: Teacher knowledge; Student achievement; Peru;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Metzler, Johannes & Woessmann, Ludger, 2012. "The impact of teacher subject knowledge on student achievement: Evidence from within-teacher within-student variation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 486-496.
  2. Sonja Fagernäs & Panu Pelkonen, 2011. "Whether to Hire Local Contract Teachers? Trade-off Between Skills and Preferences in India," SERC Discussion Papers 0083, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  3. Sushmita Nalini Das, 2014. "Do "Child-Friendly" Practices affect Learning? Evidence from Rural India," DoQSS Working Papers 14-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  4. Marc Piopiunik & Martin Schlotter, 2012. "Identifying the Incidence of "Grading on a Curve":A Within-Student Across-Subject Approach," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 121, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  5. Schlotter, Martin & Schwerdt, Guido & Wößmann, Ludger, 2011. "Econometric methods for causal evaluation of education policies and practices: A non-technical guide," Munich Reprints in Economics 19780, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Torberg Falch & Marte Rønning, 2012. "Homework assignment and student achievement in OECD countries," Discussion Papers 711, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  7. Marchionni, Mariana & Pinto, Florencia & Vazquez, Emmanuel, 2013. "Determinantes de la desigualdad en el desempeño educativo en la Argentina
    [Determinants of the inequality in PISA test scores in Argentina]
    ," MPRA Paper 56421, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Santiago Levy & Norbert Schady, 2013. "Latin America's Social Policy Challenge: Education, Social Insurance, Redistribution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 193-218, Spring.
  9. Alejandro Ganimian & Mariana Alfonso & Ana Santiago, 2013. "Calling Their Bluff: Expressed and Revealed Preferences of Top College Graduates Entering Teaching in Argentina," IDB Publications 82302, Inter-American Development Bank.
  10. Marchionni, Mariana & Vazquez, Emmanuel & Pinto, Florencia, 2012. "Desigualdad educativa en la Argentina. Análisis en base a los datos PISA 2009
    [Education Inequality in Argentina. An analysis based on PISA 2009 data]
    ," MPRA Paper 56420, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Tessa Bold & Jakob Svensson, 2013. "Policies and Institutions for Effective Service Delivery: The Need of a Microeconomic and Micropolitical Approach," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(suppl_2), pages -ii38, August.

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