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The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data

Author

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  • Jonah Rockoff

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

Teacher quality is widely believed to be important for education, despite little evidence that teachers' credentials matter for student achievement. To accurately measure variation in achievement due to teachers' characteristics-both observable and unobservable-it is essential to identify teacher fixed effects. Unlike previous studies, I use panel data to estimate teacher fixed effects while controlling for fixed student characteristics and classroom specific variables. I find large and statistically significant differences among teachers: a one standard deviation increase in teacher quality raises reading and math test scores by approximately .20 and .24 standard deviations, respectively, on a nationally standardized scale. In addition, teaching experience has statistically significant positive effects on reading test scores, controlling for fixed teacher quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonah Rockoff, 2003. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," Public Economics 0304002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0304002
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on PC; pages: 40; figures: Included
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2002. "How Important are Classroom Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," NBER Working Papers 9263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
    4. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "New Evidence about Brown v. Board of Education: The Complex Effects of School Racial Composition on Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 349-383, July.
    5. Figlio, David N., 1997. "Teacher salaries and teacher quality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 267-271, August.
    6. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    7. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.),Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710, Elsevier.
    8. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2001. "Improving School Accountability Measures," NBER Working Papers 8156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lavy, Victor, 2003. "Paying for Performance: The Effect of Teachers' Financial Incentives on Students' Scholastic Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 3862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Christopher Jepsen & Steven Rivkin, 2002. "What is the Tradeoff Between Smaller Classes and Teacher Quality?," NBER Working Papers 9205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Victor Lavy, 2002. "Evaluating the Effect of Teachers' Group Performance Incentives on Pupil Achievement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1286-1317, December.
    13. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 1996. "Understanding the 20th Century Growth in U.S. School Spending," NBER Working Papers 5547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Hanushek, Eric, 1971. "Teacher Characteristics and Gains in Student Achievement: Estimation Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 280-288, May.
    15. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kling, Jeffrey & Liebman, Jeffrey, 2004. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects on Youth," Working Paper Series rwp04-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01m613mx58m is not listed on IDEAS
    3. De Witte, Kristof & Rogge, Nicky, 2011. "Accounting for exogenous influences in performance evaluations of teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 641-653, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    teachers;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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