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The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data

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  • Jonah Rockoff

    (Harvard University)

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    Abstract

    Teacher quality is widely believed to be important for education, despite little evidence that teachers' credentials matter for student achievement. To accurately measure variation in achievement due to teachers' characteristics-both observable and unobservable-it is essential to identify teacher fixed effects. Unlike previous studies, I use panel data to estimate teacher fixed effects while controlling for fixed student characteristics and classroom specific variables. I find large and statistically significant differences among teachers: a one standard deviation increase in teacher quality raises reading and math test scores by approximately .20 and .24 standard deviations, respectively, on a nationally standardized scale. In addition, teaching experience has statistically significant positive effects on reading test scores, controlling for fixed teacher quality.

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    File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/pe/papers/0304/0304002.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0304002.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: 10 Apr 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0304002

    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on PC; pages: 40; figures: Included
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    Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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    Keywords: teachers;

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    1. Lavy, Victor, 2003. "Paying for Performance: The Effect of Teachers' Financial Incentives on Students' Scholastic Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 3862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Figlio, David N., 1997. "Teacher salaries and teacher quality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 267-271, August.
    3. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1998. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 6691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
    5. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 1996. "Understanding the 20th Century Growth in U.S. School Spending," NBER Working Papers 5547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Victor Lavy, 2002. "Evaluating the Effect of Teachers' Group Performance Incentives on Pupil Achievement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1286-1317, December.
    7. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2001. "Improving School Accountability Measures," NBER Working Papers 8156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
    9. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2002. "How Important are Classroom Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 02-85, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    10. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates Of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532, May.
    11. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "New Evidence about Brown v. Board of Education: The Complex Effects of School Racial Composition on Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 349-383, 07.
    12. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
    13. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
    15. Hanushek, Eric, 1971. "Teacher Characteristics and Gains in Student Achievement: Estimation Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 280-88, May.
    16. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
    17. Christopher Jepsen & Steven Rivkin, 2002. "What is the Tradeoff Between Smaller Classes and Teacher Quality?," NBER Working Papers 9205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2005. "Experimental Analysis Of Neighborhood Effects On Youth," Working Papers 249, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    2. De Witte, Kristof & Rogge, Nicky, 2011. "Accounting for exogenous influences in performance evaluations of teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 641-653, August.

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