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A Nonparametric Approach for Studying Teacher Impacts

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  • Mike Gilraine
  • Jiaying Gu
  • Robert McMillan

Abstract

We propose a nonparametric approach for studying the impacts of teachers, built around the distribution of unobserved teacher value-added. Rather than assuming this distribution is normal (as standard), we show it is nonparametrically identified and can be feasibly estimated. The distribution is central to a new nonparametric estimator for individual teacher value-added that we present, and allows us to compute new metrics for assessing teacher-related policies. Simulations indicate our nonparametric approach performs very well, even in moderately-sized samples. We also show applying our approach in practice can make a significant difference to teacher-relevant policy calculations, compared with widely-used parametric estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Mike Gilraine & Jiaying Gu & Robert McMillan, 2022. "A Nonparametric Approach for Studying Teacher Impacts," Working Papers tecipa-716, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-716
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    3. Koedel, Cory & Mihaly, Kata & Rockoff, Jonah E., 2015. "Value-added modeling: A review," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 180-195.
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    6. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
    7. Roger Koenker & Ivan Mizera, 2014. "Convex Optimization, Shape Constraints, Compound Decisions, and Empirical Bayes Rules," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 109(506), pages 674-685, June.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Teacher Impacts; Teacher Value-Added; Value-Added Distribution; Nonparametric Estimation; Empirical Bayes; Education Policy; Teacher Release Policy; False Discovery Rate;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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