Lost in Translation? Teacher Training and Outcomes in High School Economics Classes

15 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2014

See all articles by Robert G. Valletta

Robert G. Valletta

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jody Hoff

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Jane S. Lopus

California State University, East Bay - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2014

Abstract

Using data from a 2006 survey of California high school economics classes, we assess the effects of teacher characteristics on student achievement. We estimate value‐added models of outcomes on multiple choice and essay exams, with matched classroom pairs for each teacher enabling random‐effects and fixed‐effects estimation. The results show a substantial impact of specialized teacher experience and college‐level coursework in economics. However, the latter is associated with higher scores on the multiple‐choice test and lower scores on the essay test, suggesting that a portion of teachers' content knowledge may be “lost in translation” when conveyed to their students.

JEL Classification: A21, I21

Suggested Citation

Valletta, Robert G. and Hoff, Jody and Lopus, Jane S., Lost in Translation? Teacher Training and Outcomes in High School Economics Classes (October 2014). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 32, Issue 4, pp. 695-709, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2483495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/coep.12038

Robert G. Valletta (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Jody Hoff

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

101 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States
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451-974-2417 (Fax)

Jane S. Lopus

California State University, East Bay - Department of Economics ( email )

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Hayward, CA 94542
United States
510-885-3140 (Phone)
510-656-8871 (Fax)

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