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What Do Parents Value in Education? An Empirical Investigation of Parents' Revealed Preferences for Teachers

  • Brian A. Jacob

    (Harvard University and National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Lars Lefgren

    (Brigham Young University)

This paper examines revealed preferences of parents for their children's education, using parent requests for individual elementary school teachers and information on teacher attributes, including principal reports of teacher characteristics that are typically unobservable. On average, parents strongly prefer teachers whom principals describe as good at promoting student satisfaction, though they also value teacher ability to raise academic achievement. These aggregate effects mask striking differences across schools. Families in higher poverty schools strongly value student achievement and appear indifferent to the principal's report of a teacher's ability to promote student satisfaction. The results are reversed for families in wealthier schools. (c) 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1162/qjec.2007.122.4.1603
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 122 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1603-1637

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:4:p:1603-1637
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  1. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  2. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2002. "Teachers and student achievement in the Chicago public high schools," Working Paper Series WP-02-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2005. "What Do Parents Value in Education? An Empirical Investigation of Parents' Revealed Preferences for Teachers," NBER Working Papers 11494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
  5. Daniel G. Sullivan, 2001. "A note on the estimation of linear regression models with Heteroskedastic measurement errors," Working Paper Series WP-01-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Jesse M. Rothstein, 2006. "Good Principals or Good Peers? Parental Valuation of School Characteristics, Tiebout Equilibrium, and the Incentive Effects of Competition among Jurisdictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1333-1350, September.
  7. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin & Daniel M. O'Brien, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," Discussion Papers 04-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. David N. Figlio & Maurice E. Lucas, 2004. "What's in a Grade? School Report Cards and the Housing Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 591-604, June.
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