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Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors

Scott E. Carrell and James E. West
Journal of Political Economy
Vol. 118, No. 3 (June 2010), pp. 409-432
DOI: 10.1086/653808
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/653808
Page Count: 24
Subjects: Business Economics
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Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors
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Abstract

In primary and secondary education, measures of teacher quality are often based on contemporaneous student performance on standardized achievement tests. In the postsecondary environment, scores on student evaluations of professors are typically used to measure teaching quality. We possess unique data that allow us to measure relative student performance in mandatory follow‐on classes. We compare metrics that capture these three different notions of instructional quality and present evidence that professors who excel at promoting contemporaneous student achievement teach in ways that improve their student evaluations but harm the follow‐on achievement of their students in more advanced classes.

Notes and References

This item contains 37 references.

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