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Information and Employee Evaluation: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Public Schools

  • Jonah E. Rockoff
  • Douglas O. Staiger
  • Thomas J. Kane
  • Eric S. Taylor
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    We examine how employers learn about worker productivity in a randomized pilot experiment which provided objective estimates of teacher performance to school principals. We test several hypotheses that support a simple Bayesian learning model with imperfect information. First, the correlation between performance estimates and prior beliefs rises with more precise objective estimates and more precise subjective priors. Second, new information exerts greater influence on posterior beliefs when it is more precise and when priors are less precise. Employer learning affects job separation and productivity in schools, increasing turnover for teachers with low performance estimates and producing small test score improvements. (JEL D83, I21, J24, J45)

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.7.3184
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 7 (December)
    Pages: 3184-3213

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:7:p:3184-3213
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.7.3184
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    1. Nick Bloom & Ben Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2010. "Does management matter?: evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 36366, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2007. "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 95-135.
    4. Cory Koedel & Julian R. Betts, 2011. "Does Student Sorting Invalidate Value-Added Models of Teacher Effectiveness? An Extended Analysis of the Rothstein Critique," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 18-42, January.
    5. Baker, G.P. & Jensen, M.C. & Murphy, K.J., 1988. "Compensation And Incentives: Practice Vs. Theory," Papers 88-05, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
    6. Justine S. Hastings & Jeffrey M. Weinstein, 2008. "Information, School Choice, and Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1373-1414, November.
    7. Douglas O. Staiger & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2010. "Searching for Effective Teachers with Imperfect Information," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 97-118, Summer.
    8. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
    9. Ginger Zhe Jin & Phillip Leslie, 2003. "The Effect Of Information On Product Quality: Evidence From Restaurant Hygiene Grade Cards," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 409-451, May.
    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. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert, 1993. "Discretion and bias in performance evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 355-365, April.
    12. Sass, Tim R. & Semykina, Anastasia & Harris, Douglas N., 2014. "Value-added models and the measurement of teacher productivity," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 9-23.
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