Parents' Responses to Teacher Qualifications

54 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2020

See all articles by Simon Chang

Simon Chang

University of Western Australia - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Nicolas Salamanca

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 19, 2020

Abstract

We identify the causal effect of teacher qualifications on parents’ investments in their children. Exploiting a unique, high-stakes educational setting in which teachers are randomly assigned to classes, we show that parents react to more qualified teachers by increasing their financial investments in their children. The key mechanism is an increase in parents’ belief that academic achievement is driven by student effort — for which financial investment is instrumental. However, higher teacher qualifications do not improve student test scores. This is likely due to a negative effect of teacher qualifications on students’ belief in the importance of effort for academic achievement. Our findings uncover various family-wide behavioral reactions to teacher qualifications and highlight the intricacies in educational production within households.

Keywords: Teacher quality, Student achievement, Parental investment, Beliefs, School effort

JEL Classification: D10, I21, I24

Suggested Citation

Chang, Kang-Hung and Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Salamanca, Nicolas, Parents' Responses to Teacher Qualifications (March 19, 2020). Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 1/20, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3567437 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3567437

Kang-Hung Chang

University of Western Australia - Department of Economics ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia
+61-8-64882893 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Nicolas Salamanca (Contact Author)

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 )

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