März 2012

IZA DP No. 6402: Lost in Translation? Teacher Training and Outcomes in High School Economics Classes

published in: Contemporary Economic Policy, 2014, 32(4)

Using data on 24 teachers and 982 students from a 2006 survey of California high school economics classes, we assess the effects of student and teacher characteristics on student achievement. We estimate value-added models of outcomes on multiple choice and essay exams, with matched classroom pairs for each teacher enabling random effects and fixed-effects estimation. Students' own and peer GPAs and their attitudes towards economics have the largest effects on value-added scores. We also find a substantial impact of specialized teacher experience and college-level coursework in economics, although the effects of the latter are positive for the multiple choice test and negative for the essay test.