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The Value of Smarter Teachers: International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance

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  • Eric A. Hanushek
  • Marc Piopiunik
  • Simon Wiederhold

Abstract

International differences in teacher quality are commonly hypothesized to be a key determinant of the large international student performance gaps, but lack of consistent quality measures has precluded testing this. Using unique assessment data, we construct country-level measures of teacher cognitive skills. We find substantial differences in teacher cognitive skills across countries, and these are strongly related to student performance. Results are supported by fixed-effects estimation exploiting within-country between-subject variation in teacher skills. Observed country variations in teacher cognitive skills are significantly related to differences in women’s access to high-skilled occupations outside teaching and to salary premiums for teachers.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric A. Hanushek & Marc Piopiunik & Simon Wiederhold, 2014. "The Value of Smarter Teachers: International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance," CESifo Working Paper Series 5120, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5120
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    teacher cognitive skills; student performance; international comparison; PIAAC; PISA;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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