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One Size Fits All? The Effects of Teacher Cognitive and Non-cognitive Abilities on Student

Author

Listed:
  • Grönqvist, Erik

    (IFAU)

  • Vlachos, Jonas

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

Teachers are increasingly being drawn from the lower parts of the general ability distribution, but it is not clear how this affects student achievement. We track the position of entering teachers in population-wide cognitive and non-cognitive ability distributions using school grades and draft records from Swedish registers. The impact on student achievement caused by the position of teachers in these ability distributions is estimated using matched student-teacher data. On average, teachers’ cognitive and non-cognitive social interactive abilities do not have a positive effect on student performance. However, social interactive ability turns out to be important for low aptitude students, whilst the reverse holds for cognitive abilities. In fact, while high performing students benefit from high cognitive teachers, being matched to such a teacher can even be detrimental to their lower performing peers. Hence, the lower abilities among teachers may hurt some students, whereas others may even benefit. High cognitive and non-cognitive abilities thus need not necessarily translate into teacher quality. Instead, these heterogeneities highlight the importance of the studentteacher matching process.

Suggested Citation

  • Grönqvist, Erik & Vlachos, Jonas, 2008. "One Size Fits All? The Effects of Teacher Cognitive and Non-cognitive Abilities on Student," Working Paper Series 779, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0779
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brazenly illogical?
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-01-18 20:24:15

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    Cited by:

    1. Öhman, Mattias, 2015. "Be smart, live long: the relationship between cognitive and non-cognitive abilities and mortality," Working Paper Series 2015:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. Mellander, Erik, 2014. "Transparency of human resource policy," Working Paper Series 2014:24, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. Amodio, Francesco, 2009. "On Teachers Quality Decline," MPRA Paper 15796, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Sepahvand, Mohammad & Shahbazian, Roujman & Bali Swain, Ranjula, 2013. "Time Investment by Parents in Cognitive and Non-cognitive Childcare Activities," Working Paper Series 2013:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Erik Lindqvist, 2012. "Height and Leadership," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 1191-1196, November.
    6. Andersson, Christian & Johansson, Per & Waldenström, Nina, 2011. "Do you want your child to have a certified teacher?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 65-78, February.
    7. Lena Lindahl, 2011. "A comparison of family and neighborhood effects on grades, test scores, educational attainment and income—evidence from Sweden," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 207-226, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cognitive and non-cognitive ability; Teacher quality: Student achievement;

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General

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