NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Teacher Value-Added and Economic Agency

Hugh Macartney, Robert McMillan, Uros Petronijevic

NBER Working Paper No. 24747
Issued in June 2018, Revised in December 2019
NBER Program(s):Program on Children, Economics of Education Program, Labor Studies Program, Public Economics Program

Teacher value-added is not a technological ‘primitive.’ Instead, it increases within-teacher when accountability incentives are strengthened, as we show. This evidence motivates a framework in which teacher value-added depends on two unobserved inputs to education production: teacher ability and incentive-varying teacher effort. We present a strategy to identify these two inputs and their distinct effects on test scores for the first time, using exogenous incentive policy variation and rich longitudinal data from North Carolina. The estimates indicate that both the ability component of teacher value-added and teacher effort raise current and future scores. We also find that effort responds systematically to incentives, underlining the agency of the teaching force as an important factor in education production. To explore the policy implications of this economic agency, we then use our estimates to compare the cost effectiveness of incentive-oriented education reforms with policies that target teacher ability. Incentive reforms come out ahead in a variety of plausible cases, given their potential to influence all teachers rather than a subset.

download in pdf format
   (786 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24747

 
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