Why don't schools and teachers seem to matter? Assessing the impact of unobservables on educational productivity

Dan D. Goldhaber, Dominic J. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Using data drawn from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988, which allows students to be linked to particular teachers and classes, we estimate the impact of observable and unobservable schooling characteristics on student outcomes. A variety of models show some schooling resources (in particular, teacher qualifications) to be significant in influencing tenth-grade mathematics test scores. Unobservable school, teacher, and class characteristics are important in explaining student achievement but do not appear to be correlated with observable variables in our sample. Thus, our results suggest that the omission of unobservables does not cause biased estimates in standard educational production functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-523
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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