Do school and teacher characteristics matter? Evidence from High School and Beyond

Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Dominic J. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses data from the High School and Beyond longitudinal study. We estimate the extent to which school characteristics and teacher characteristics influence the probability that public school students drop out of high school between their sophomore and senior years and, for those who do not drop out, whether these characteristics influence the extent to which students' scores on achievement tests increase during the 2-year period. The paper allows for the possibility that school and teacher characteristics are the result of both parent and teacher choices. It also statistically controls for the fact that "gain scores" are available only for students who did not drop out. School and teacher characteristics generally appear to influence gain scores more than they do drop-out probabilities. Students' gain scores are higher when teachers come from more selective institutions. The "selectivity" of a teacher's school may reflect intelligence or verbal ability, and analyses indicate that districts that pay higher salaries attract teachers from more selective institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Economics and Econometrics


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