Teacher Value-Added and Economic Agency

89 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2018 Last revised: 13 Feb 2022

See all articles by Hugh Macartney

Hugh Macartney

Duke University - Department of Economics

Robert McMillan

University of Toronto - Department of Economics

Uros Petronijevic

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 2018

Abstract

Teacher value-added is not a technological ‘primitive.’ Instead, it increases within-teacher when accountability incentives are strengthened, as we show. This evidence motivates a framework in which teacher value-added depends on two unobserved inputs to education production: teacher ability and incentive-varying teacher effort. We present a strategy to identify these two inputs and their distinct effects on test scores for the first time, using exogenous incentive policy variation and rich longitudinal data from North Carolina. The estimates indicate that both the ability component of teacher value-added and teacher effort raise current and future scores. We also find that effort responds systematically to incentives, underlining the agency of the teaching force as an important factor in education production. To explore the policy implications of this economic agency, we then use our estimates to compare the cost effectiveness of incentive-oriented education reforms with policies that target teacher ability. Incentive reforms come out ahead in a variety of plausible cases, given their potential to influence all teachers rather than a subset.

Suggested Citation

Macartney, Hugh and McMillan, Robert and Petronijevic, Uros, Teacher Value-Added and Economic Agency (June 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24747, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3202050

Hugh Macartney (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Robert McMillan

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G7
Canada
416-978-4190 (Phone)
416-978-6713 (Fax)

Uros Petronijevic

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

19 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
14
Abstract Views
239
PlumX Metrics