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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. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
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    5. Erik Lindqvist & Roine Vestman, 2011. "The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 101-128, January.
    6. Caroline M. Hoxby & Andrew Leigh, 2004. "Pulled Away or Pushed Out? Explaining the Decline of Teacher Aptitude in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 236-240, May.
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    11. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Brewer, Dominic J., 1995. "Did teachers' verbal ability and race matter in the 1960s? Coleman revisited," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-21, March.
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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. Mellander, Erik, 2014. "Transparency of human resource policy," Working Paper Series 2014:24, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. Amodio, Francesco, 2009. "On Teachers Quality Decline," MPRA Paper 15796, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    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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