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Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Sample of Dutch Twins


  • Sander Gerritsen
  • Erik Plug
  • Dinand Webbink


This paper examines the causal link that runs from classroom quality to student achievement using data on twin pairs who entered the same school but were allocated to different classrooms in an exogenous way. In particular, we apply twin fixed‐effects estimation to assess the effect of teacher quality on student test scores from second through eighth grade of primary education, arguing that a change in teacher quality is probably the most important classroom intervention within a twin context. In a series of estimations using measurable teacher characteristics, we find that (a) the test performance of all students improves with teacher experience; (b) teacher experience also matters for student performance after the initial years in the profession; (c) the teacher experience effect is most prominent in earlier grades; (d) the teacher experience effects are robust to the inclusion of other classroom quality measures, such as peer group composition and class size; and (e) an increase in teacher experience also matters for career stages with less labor market mobility, which suggests positive returns to on‐the‐job learning of teachers. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Sander Gerritsen & Erik Plug & Dinand Webbink, 2017. "Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Sample of Dutch Twins," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(3), pages 643-660, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:japmet:v:32:y:2017:i:3:p:643-660

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    Cited by:

    1. Cabrera, José María & Webbink, Dinand, 2018. "Do higher salaries yield better teachers and better student outcomes?," MPRA Paper 86972, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ferreira Sequeda, Maria & Golsteyn, Bart & Parra Cely, Sergio, 2018. "The effect of grade retention on secondary school performance: Evidence from a natural experiment," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    3. José María Cabrera & Dinand Webbink., 2018. "Do higher salaries yield better teachers and better student outcomes?," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1804, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..

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