IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/10370.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do College Instructors Matter? The Effects of Adjuncts and Graduate Assistants on Students' Interests and Success

Author

Listed:
  • Eric Bettinger
  • Bridget Terry Long

Abstract

One of the most pronounced trends in higher education over the last decade has been the increased reliance on instructors outside of the traditional full-time, Ph.D.-trained model. Nearly 43 percent of all teaching faculty were part-time in 1998, and at selective colleges, graduate assistant instructors teach over 35 percent of introductory courses. Critics argue that these alternative instructors, with less education and engagement within a university, are causing the quality of education to deteriorate and may affect student interest in a subject. However, little research exists to document these claims. This paper attempts to fill this void using a unique dataset of students at public, four-year colleges in Ohio. The paper quantifies how adjunct and graduate assistant instructors affect the likelihood of enrollment and success in subsequent courses. Because students with alternative instructors may differ systematically from other students, the paper uses two empirical strategies: course fixed effects and a value-added instructor model. The results suggest that adjunct and graduate assistant instructors generally reduce subsequent interest in a subject relative to full-time faculty members, but the effects are small and differ by discipline. Adjuncts and graduate assistants negatively affect students in the humanities while positively affecting students in some of the technical and professional fields.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2004. "Do College Instructors Matter? The Effects of Adjuncts and Graduate Assistants on Students' Interests and Success," NBER Working Papers 10370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10370
    Note: ED
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10370.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. George J. Borjas, 2000. "Foreign-Born Teaching Assistants and the Academic Performance of Undergraduates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 355-359, May.
    2. Peter Temin, 2002. "Teacher Quality and the Future of America," NBER Working Papers 8898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David H. Autor, 2001. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1409-1448.
    4. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Brewer, Dominic J., 1994. "Do school and teacher characteristics matter? Evidence from High School and Beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-17, March.
    5. Figlio, David N. & Rueben, Kim S., 2001. "Tax limits and the qualifications of new teachers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 49-71, April.
    6. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2002. "Would School Choice Change the Teaching Profession?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 846-891.
    7. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does Public School Competition Affect Teacher Quality?," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 23-48 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    9. Peter Temin, 2002. "Teacher Quality and the Future of America," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 285-300, Summer.
    10. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hale, Galina & Regev, Tali, 2014. "Gender ratios at top PhD programs in economics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 55-70.
    2. Maria De Paola, 2009. "Does Teacher Quality Affect Student Performance? Evidence From An Italian University," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 353-377, October.
    3. Long, Bridget Terry & Taylor, Eric S., 2016. "When inputs are outputs: The case of graduate student instructorsAuthor-Name: Bettinger, Eric P," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 63-76.
    4. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Liang Zhang, 2005. "Do Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
    5. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 2004. "Prospects in the Academic Labor Market for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 227-238, Spring.
    6. Bruce A. Weinberg & Belton M. Fleisher & Masanori Hashimoto, 2007. "Evaluating Methods for Evaluating Instruction: The Case of Higher Education," NBER Working Papers 12844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Dahlia K. Remler & Elda Pema, 2009. "Why do Institutions of Higher Education Reward Research While Selling Education?," NBER Working Papers 14974, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2005. "Do Faculty Serve as Role Models? The Impact of Instructor Gender on Female Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 152-157, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10370. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.