NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains

Brian A. Jacob, Lars Lefgren, David Sims

NBER Working Paper No. 14065
Issued in June 2008
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   LS   PE

Educational interventions are often narrowly targeted and temporary, and evaluations often focus on the short-run impacts of the intervention. Insofar as the positive effects of educational interventions fadeout over time, however, such assessments may be misleading. In this paper, we develop a simple statistical framework to empirically assess the persistence of treatment effects in education. To begin, we present a simple model of student learning that incorporates permanent as well as transitory learning gains. Using this model, we demonstrate how the parameter of interest – the persistence of a particular measurable education input – can be recovered via instrumental variables as a particular local average treatment effect. We initially motivate this strategy in the context of teacher quality, but then generalize the model to consider educational interventions more generally. Using administrative data that links students and teachers, we construct measures of teacher effectiveness and then estimate the persistence of these teacher value-added measures on student test scores. We find that teacher-induced gains in math and reading achievement quickly erode. In most cases, our point estimates suggest a one-year persistence of about one-fifth and rule out a one-year persistence rate higher than one-third.

download in pdf format
   (177 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (177 K) or via email.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14065

Published: Jacob, Brian, Lefgren, Lars and David Sims. (2010). "The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains." Journal of Human Resources 45(4): 915-943.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Kane and Staiger w14607 Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation
Rothstein w14442 Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement
Rockoff, Jacob, Kane, and Staiger w14485 Can You Recognize an Effective Teacher When You Recruit One?
Jacob and Lefgren w11494 What Do Parents Value in Education? An Empirical Investigation of Parents' Revealed Preferences for Teachers
Jacob and Lefgren w11463 Principals as Agents: Subjective Performance Measurement in Education
 
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