New York University
Department of Economics
19 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
Institutional Affiliation: New York University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2020||A New Method for Estimating Teacher Value-Added|
with Jiaying Gu, Robert McMillan: w27094
This paper proposes a new methodology for estimating teacher value-added. Rather than imposing a normality assumption on unobserved teacher quality (as in the standard empirical Bayes approach), our nonparametric estimator permits the underlying distribution to be estimated directly and in a computationally feasible way. The resulting estimates fit the unobserved distribution very well regardless of the form it takes, as we show in Monte Carlo simulations. Implementing the nonparametric approach in practice using two separate large-scale administrative data sets, we find the estimated teacher value-added distributions depart from normality and differ from each other. To draw out the policy implications of our method, we first consider a widely-discussed policy to release teachers at th...
|January 2018||Education Reform in General Equilibrium: Evidence from California's Class Size Reduction|
with Hugh Macartney, Robert McMillan: w24191
This paper sheds new light on general equilibrium responses to major education reforms, focusing on a sorting mechanism likely to operate whenever a reform improves public school quality significantly. It does so in the context of California's statewide class size reduction program of the late-1990s, and makes two main contributions. First, using a transparent differencing strategy that exploits the grade-specific roll-out of the reform, we show evidence of general equilibrium sorting effects: Improvements in public school quality caused marked reductions in local private school shares, consequent changes in public school demographics, and significant increases in local house prices -- the latter indicative of the reform's full impact. Second, using a generalization of the differencing...