NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

What Do Parents Value in Education? An Empirical Investigation of Parents' Revealed Preferences for Teachers

Brian A. Jacob, Lars Lefgren

NBER Working Paper No. 11494
Issued in July 2005
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED

This paper examines revealed parent preferences for their children's education using a unique data set that includes the number of parent requests for individual elementary school teachers along with information on teacher attributes including principal reports of teacher characteristics that are typically unobservable. We find that, on average, parents strongly prefer teachers that principals describe as good at promoting student satisfaction and place relatively less value on a teacher's ability to raise standardized math or reading achievement. These aggregate effects, however, mask striking differences across family demographics. Families in higher poverty schools strongly value student achievement and are essentially indifferent to the principal's report of a teacher's ability to promote student satisfaction. The results are reversed for families in higher-income schools.

download in pdf format
   (393 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the March 2006 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

This paper is available as PDF (393 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11494

Published: Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2007. "What Do Parents Value in Education? An Empirical Investigation of Parents' Revealed Preferences for Teachers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1603-1637, November.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Hastings, Van Weelden, and Weinstein w12995 Preferences, Information, and Parental Choice Behavior in Public School Choice
Hastings, Kane, and Staiger w11805 Parental Preferences and School Competition: Evidence from a Public School Choice Program
Jacob and Lefgren w11463 Principals as Agents: Subjective Performance Measurement in Education
Jacob, Lefgren, and Sims w14065 The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains
Hoxby School Choice and School Productivity. Could School Choice Be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us