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Teachers and Student Outcomes: Evidence using Swedish Data
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Essay 1 analyzes how student achievement is affected by resource increases in the Swedish compulsory school, due to a special government grant. The analysis is based on register data between 1998 and 2005. The study shows that the increased resources have not had a statistically significant positive effect on the average student’s achievement. Increased resources have, however, improved student achievement for students with low educated parents. If teacher density is increased with 10 percent, students with low educated parents are expected to increase their grade point average ranking with about 0.4 percentile units.

Essay 2 finds that the share of non-certified teachers in Swedish compulsory public schools has grown considerably during the last decade and studies whether this pattern may be explained by restrictions in the supply of certified teachers. This is done using a targeted government grant as an exogenous teacher demand shock. Our results show that the grant decreased the share of non-certified teachers more in areas characterized by relatively high unemployment rates among certified teachers. These findings suggest that teacher supply restrictions do indeed matter for the composition of the teaching staff.

Essay 3 examines how the teaching staff composition, with respect to certification, affects student achievement in compulsory Swedish schools. We apply an instrumental variable approach to estimate the causal effect of non-certified teachers on student achievement. We find that a one percentage point increase in the share of non-certified teachers, is expected to decrease the average student’s GDP ranking with about 0.6 units, a substantial effect considering the large differences in certification rate that do exist between schools and municipalities. The effect also appears to be stronger for students with highly educated parents.

Essay 4 estimates the effects of early age tutoring on grades, educational attainment, earnings, early retirement and death. We use data on boarding home students in the 1940s. At these boarding homes, students had daily scheduled time for doing their homework and a directress was employed to help with the students’ homework. The placement at the boarding homes had no direct connection to students’ skills, which enables us to study the effects of the pedagogical stimuli at the boarding homes. We find that tutoring at an early age in life is important as a way of equalizing skills upon leaving school.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Nationalekonomiska institutionen , 2007. , 154 p.
Economic studies, ISSN 0283-7668 ; 107
Keyword [en]
Economics, Teacher density, Government grant, Teacher supply, Teacher certification, Teacher quality, Instrumental variable, Pedagogic personnel, Homework, Student achievement
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8298OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-8298DiVA: diva2:170959
Public defence
2007-11-23, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10 B, Uppsala, 15:15
Available from: 2007-10-30 Created: 2007-10-30Bibliographically approved

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