One Size Fits All? The Effects of Teacher Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Abilities on Student Achievement
AbstractTeachers are increasingly being drawn from the lower parts of the general ability distribution, but it is not clear how this affects student achievement. We track the position of entering teachers in population-wide cognitive and non-cognitive ability distributions using school grades and draft records from Swedish registers. The impact on student achievement caused by the position of teachers in these ability distributions is estimated using matched student-teacher data. On average, teachers' cognitive and non-cognitive social interactive abilities do not have a positive effect on student performance. However, social interactive ability turns out to be important for low aptitude students, whilst the reverse holds for cognitive abilities. In fact, while high performing students benefit from high cognitive teachers, being matched to such a teacher can even be detrimental to their lower performing peers. Hence, the lower abilities among teachers may hurt some students, whereas others may even benefit. High cognitive and non-cognitive abilities thus need not necessarily translate into teacher quality. Instead, these heterogeneities highlight the importance of the student-teacher matching process.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7086.
Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Other versions of this item:
- Grönqvist, Erik & Vlachos, Jonas, 2008. "One size fits all? The effects of teacher cognitive and non-cognitive abilities on student achievement," Working Paper Series 2008:25, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
- H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-02-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2009-02-28 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2009-02-28 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-URE-2009-02-28 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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