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The Dynamic Effects of Educational Accountability

Listed author(s):
  • Hugh Macartney
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    This paper provides the first evidence that value-added education accountability schemes induce dynamic distortions. Extending earlier dynamic moral hazard models, I propose a new test for ratchet effects, showing that classroom inputs are distorted less when schools face a shorter horizon over which they can influence student performance. I then exploit grade span variation using rich educational data to credibly identify the extent of dynamic gaming, finding compelling evidence of ratchet effects based on a triple-differences approach. Further analysis indicates that these effects are driven primarily by effort distortions, with teacher reallocations playing a secondary role.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19915.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19915.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2014
    Publication status: published as Hugh Macartney, 2016. "The Dynamic Effects of Educational Accountability," Journal of Labor Economics, vol 34(1), pages 1-28.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19915
    Note: CH ED LS PE
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    National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Thomas S. Dee & Brian Jacob, 2011. "The impact of no Child Left Behind on student achievement," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 418-446, Summer.
    2. Julie Berry Cullen & Randall Reback, 2006. "Tinkering Toward Accolades: School Gaming Under a Performance Accountability System," NBER Working Papers 12286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2011. "The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood," NBER Working Papers 17699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. David P. Baron & David Besanko, 1987. "Commitment and Fairness in a Dynamic Regulatory Relationship," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 413-436.
    5. Allen, Douglas W. & Lueck, Dean, 1999. "Searching For Ratchet Effects In Agricultural Contracts," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 24(02), December.
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