Measuring the Impacts of Teachers II: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood
Are teachers' impacts on students' test scores ("value-added") a good measure of their quality? This question has sparked debate partly because of a lack of evidence on whether high value-added (VA) teachers who raise students' test scores improve students' long-term outcomes. Using school district and tax records for more than one million children, we find that students assigned to high-VA teachers in primary school are more likely to attend college, earn higher salaries, and are less likely to have children as teenagers. Replacing a teacher whose VA is in the bottom 5% with an average teacher would increase the present value of students' lifetime income by approximately $250,000 per classroom.
We thank Joseph Altonji, Josh Angrist, David Card, Gary Chamberlain, David Deming, Caroline Hoxby, Guido Imbens, Brian Jacob, Thomas Kane, Lawrence Katz, Michal Kolesar, Adam Looney, Phil Oreopoulos, Jesse Rothstein, Douglas Staiger, Danny Yagan, anonymous referees, and numerous seminar participants for helpful discussions and comments. This paper is the second of two companion papers on teacher quality. The results in the two papers were previously combined in NBER Working Paper No. 17699, entitled "The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood," issued in December 2011. On May 4, 2012, Ra j Chetty was retained as an expert witness by Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher LLP to testify about the importance of teacher effectiveness for student learning in Vergara v. California based on the findings in NBER Working Paper No. 17699. John Friedman is currently on leave from Harvard, working at the National Economic Council; this work does not represent the views of the NEC. All results based on tax data contained in this paper were originally reported in an IRS Statistics of Income white paper (Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff 2011a). Sarah Abraham, Alex Bell, Peter Ganong, Sarah Griffis, Jessica Laird, Shelby Lin, Alex Olssen, Heather Sarsons, and Michael Stepner provided outstanding research assistance. Financial support from the Lab for Economic Applications and Policy at Harvard and the National Science Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. Publicly available portions of the analysis code are posted at: http://obs.rc.fas.harvard.edu/chetty/cfr_analysis_code.zip The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2014. "Measuring the Impacts of Teachers II: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2633-79, September. citation courtesy of