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Does Teacher Training Affect Pupil Learning? Evidence from Matched Comparisons in Jerusalem Public Schools

  • Joshua D. Angrist
  • Victor Lavy

The relationship between teachers' characteristics and their pupils' achievement has been the subject of many studies. Most of this research focuses on the impact of teacher salaries, experience, and measures of teachers' pre-service training such as educational background. The effect of on-the-job or in-service training has received much less attention. In this paper, we estimate the effect of in-service teacher training on children's reading and mathematics achievement in Jerusalem elementary schools. The training was based on pedagogical methods developed in US schools. Our research uses a matched-comparison design which exploits the fact that only a few schools received extra funds for training. Differences-in-differences, regression, and nonparametric matching estimates are reported. The results suggest that the training received by teachers in the non-religious branch of the Jerusalem school system led to an improvement in their pupils' test scores. The estimates for religious schools are not clear cut, but this may be because the training program in religious schools started later and was implemented on a smaller scale. The estimates for non-religious schools suggest that, at least in this case, teacher training provided a less costly means of increasing test scores than reducing class size or adding school hours.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6781.

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Date of creation: Nov 1998
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Publication status: published as Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 19, no. 2 (April 2001): 343-369
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6781
Note: LS CH
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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  2. Behrman, Jere R. & Khan, Shahrukh & Ross, David & Sabot, Richard, 1997. "School quality and cognitive achievement production: A case study for rural Pakistan," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 127-142, April.
  3. Krueger, Alan & Rouse, Cecilia, 1998. "The Effect of Workplace Education on Earnings, Turnover, and Job Performance," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 61-94, January.
  4. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 1984. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 1489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. 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.
  7. Ann P. Bartel, 1992. "Training, Wage Growth and Job Performance: Evidence From a Company Database," NBER Working Papers 4027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  9. Bartel, Ann P, 1995. "Training, Wage Growth, and Job Performance: Evidence from a Company Database," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 401-25, July.
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