NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood

Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Jonah E. Rockoff

NBER Working Paper No. 17699
Issued in December 2011, Revised in January 2012
NBER Program(s):Economics of Education, Labor Studies, Public Economics, Children

Are teachers' impacts on students' test scores ("value-added") a good measure of their quality? This question has sparked debate largely because of disagreement about (1) whether value-added (VA) provides unbiased estimates of teachers' impacts on student achievement and (2) whether high-VA teachers improve students' long-term outcomes. We address these two issues by analyzing school district data from grades 3-8 for 2.5 million children linked to tax records on parent characteristics and adult outcomes. We find no evidence of bias in VA estimates using previously unobserved parent characteristics and a quasi-experimental research design based on changes in teaching staff. Students assigned to high-VA teachers are more likely to attend college, attend higher- ranked colleges, earn higher salaries, live in higher SES neighborhoods, and save more for retirement. They are also less likely to have children as teenagers. Teachers have large impacts in all grades from 4 to 8. On average, a one standard deviation improvement in teacher VA in a single grade raises earnings by about 1% at age 28. Replacing a teacher whose VA is in the bottom 5% with an average teacher would increase the present value of students' lifetime income by more than $250,000 for the average class- room in our sample. We conclude that good teachers create substantial economic value and that test score impacts are helpful in identifying such teachers.

download in pdf format
   (723 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17699

Published: Chetty, Raj, John N. Friedman, and Jonah E. Rockoff. 2014. "Measuring the Impacts of Teachers I: Evaluating Bias in Teacher Value-Added Estimates." American Economic Review, 104(9): 2593-2632.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Fryer w16850 Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools
Muralidharan and Sundararaman w15323 Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India
Hanushek w16606 The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality
Rothstein w14666 Student sorting and bias in value added estimation: Selection on observables and unobservables
Papay, West, Fullerton, and Kane w17646 Does Practice-Based Teacher Preparation Increase Student Achievement? Early Evidence from the Boston Teacher Residency
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us