The Market for Teacher Quality

52 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2005  

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)

John F. Kain

University of Texas at Dallas - Cecil and Ida Green Center for the Study of Science and Society

Daniel M. O'Brien

University of Texas at Dallas - Department of Economics & Finance

Steven G. Rivkin

Amherst College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: February 2005

Abstract

Much of education policy focuses on improving teacher quality, but most policies lack strong research support. We use student achievement gains to estimate teacher value-added, our measure of teacher quality. The analysis reveals substantial variation in the quality of instruction, most of which occurs within rather than between schools. Although teacher quality appears to be unrelated to advanced degrees or certification, experience does matter -- but only in the first year of teaching. We also find that good teachers tend to be effective with all student ability levels but that there is a positive value of matching students and teachers by race. In the second part of the analysis, we show that teachers staying in our sample of urban schools tend to be as good as or better than those who exit. Thus, the main cost of large turnover is the introduction of more first year teachers. Finally, there is little or no evidence that districts that offer higher salaries and have better working conditions attract the higher quality teachers among those who depart the central city district. The overall results have a variety of direct policy implications for the design of school accountability and the compensation of teachers.

Suggested Citation

Hanushek, Eric A. and Kain, John F. and O'Brien, Daniel M. and Rivkin, Steven G., The Market for Teacher Quality (February 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11154. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=669453

Eric A. Hanushek (Contact Author)

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

John F. Kain

University of Texas at Dallas - Cecil and Ida Green Center for the Study of Science and Society ( email )

Mail Station GC21
Box 830688
Richardson, TX 75083-0688
United States
(972) 883-2555 (Phone)
(972) 883-2551 (Fax)

Daniel M. O'Brien

University of Texas at Dallas - Department of Economics & Finance ( email )

Richardson, TX 75083
United States
972-883-4700 (Phone)

Steven G. Rivkin

Amherst College - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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