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The Academic and Labor Market Returns of University Professors

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  • Braga, Michela

    ()
    (University of Milan)

  • Paccagnella, Marco

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Pellizzari, Michele

    ()
    (University of Geneva)

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of college teaching on students' academic achievement and labor market outcomes using administrative data from Bocconi University (Italy) matched with Italian tax records. The estimation exploits the random allocation of students to teachers in a fixed sequence of compulsory courses. We find that good teaching matters more for the labor market than for academic performance. Moreover, the professors who are best at improving the academic achievement of their best students are also the ones who boost their earnings the most. On the contrary, for low ability students the academic and labor market returns of teachers are largely uncorrelated. We also find that professors who are good at teaching high ability students are often not the best teachers for the least able ones. These findings can be rationalized in a model where teaching is a multi-dimensional activity with each dimension having differential returns on the students' academic outcomes and labor market success.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7902.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7902

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Keywords: teacher quality; higher education;

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  1. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
  2. Scott E. Carrell & James E. West, 2010. "Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 409-432, 06.
  3. Brown, Byron W. & Saks, Daniel H., 1987. "The microeconomics of the allocation of teachers' time and student learning," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 319-332, August.
  4. Oriana Bandiera & Valentino Larcinese & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Heterogeneous Class Size Effects: New Evidence from a Panel of University Students," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1365-1398, December.
  5. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2002. "Teachers and student achievement in the Chicago public high schools," Working Paper Series, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago WP-02-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Angrist, Joshua & Guryan, Jonathan, 2005. "Does Teacher Testing Raise Teacher Quality? Evidence from State Certification Requirements," IZA Discussion Papers 1500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Braga, Michela & Paccagnella, Marco & Pellizzari, Michele, 2014. "Evaluating students’ evaluations of professors," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 71-88.
  8. Michael Watts & William E. Becker, 1999. "How Departments of Economics Evaluate Teaching," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 344-349, May.
  9. Esther Duflo & Rema Hanna & Stephen P. Ryan, 2012. "Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1241-78, June.
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