Are Professors Worth it? The Value-Added and Costs of Tutorial Instructors

51 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2018

See all articles by Jan Feld

Jan Feld

Victoria University of Wellington - Victoria Business School

Nicolas Salamanca

University of Melbourne; IZA; University of Melbourne - ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course

Ulf Zölitz

University of Zurich; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

A substantial share of university instruction happens in tutorial sessions—small group instruction given parallel to lectures. In this paper, we study whether instructors with a higher academic rank teach tutorials more effectively in a setting where students are randomly assigned to tutorial groups. We find this to be largely not the case. Academic rank is unrelated to students' current and future performance and only weakly positively related to students' course evaluations. Building on these results, we discuss different staffing scenarios that show that universities can substantially reduce costs by increasingly relying on lower-ranked instructors for tutorial teaching.

Keywords: teacher value-added, higher education, instructor rank

JEL Classification: I21, I24, J24

Suggested Citation

Feld, Jan and Salamanca, Nicolas and Zölitz, Ulf, Are Professors Worth it? The Value-Added and Costs of Tutorial Instructors. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11975. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3301730

Jan Feld (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Victoria Business School ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sef/about/staff/jan-feld

Nicolas Salamanca

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Melbourne - ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course ( email )

Ulf Zölitz

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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