The Value of Smarter Teachers: International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance

57 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2015

See all articles by Eric A. Hanushek

Eric A. Hanushek

Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Marc Piopiunik

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Department Human Capital and Innovation

Simon Wiederhold

Chair of Macroeconomics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2016

Abstract

International differences in teacher quality are commonly hypothesized to be a key determinant of the large international student performance gaps, but lack of consistent quality measures has precluded testing this. Using unique assessment data, we construct country-level measures of teacher cognitive skills. We find substantial differences in teacher cognitive skills across countries, and these are strongly related to student performance. Results are supported by fixed-effects estimation exploiting within-country between-subject variation in teacher skills. Observed country variations in teacher cognitive skills are significantly related to differences in women’s access to high-skilled occupations outside teaching and to salary premiums for teachers.

Keywords: teacher cognitive skills, student performance, international comparison, PIAAC, PISA

JEL Classification: I200, H400, J200

Suggested Citation

Hanushek, Eric A. and Piopiunik, Marc and Wiederhold, Simon, The Value of Smarter Teachers: International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance (March 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5120. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2548997

Eric A. Hanushek

Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
650-736-0942 (Phone)
650-723-1687 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Marc Piopiunik (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Department Human Capital and Innovation ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich, 81679
Germany

Simon Wiederhold

Chair of Macroeconomics

Auf der Schanz 49
Ingolstadt, 85049
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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