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Africa's Skill Tragedy : Does Teachers' Lack of Knowledge Lead to Low Student Performance?

Bietenbeck, Jan LU ; Piopiunik, Marc and Wiederhold, Simon (2018) In Journal of Human Resources 53(3). p.553-578
Abstract
We study the importance of teacher subject knowledge for student performance in Sub-Saharan Africa using unique international assessment data for sixth-grade students and their teachers. To circumvent bias due to unobserved student heterogeneity, we exploit variation within students across math and reading. Teacher subject knowledge has a modest impact on student performance. Exploiting vast cross-country differences in economic development, we find that teacher knowledge is effective only in more developed African countries. Results are robust to adding teacher fixed effects and accounting for potential sorting based on subject-specific factors.
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Human Resources
volume
53
issue
3
pages
26 pages
publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85049079027
ISSN
0022-166X
DOI
10.3368/jhr.53.3.0616-8002R1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5212fbc6-dcd7-4371-a380-12a2d842435d
date added to LUP
2017-03-16 10:51:43
date last changed
2018-07-15 04:39:09
@article{5212fbc6-dcd7-4371-a380-12a2d842435d,
  abstract     = {We study the importance of teacher subject knowledge for student performance in Sub-Saharan Africa using unique international assessment data for sixth-grade students and their teachers. To circumvent bias due to unobserved student heterogeneity, we exploit variation within students across math and reading. Teacher subject knowledge has a modest impact on student performance. Exploiting vast cross-country differences in economic development, we find that teacher knowledge is effective only in more developed African countries. Results are robust to adding teacher fixed effects and accounting for potential sorting based on subject-specific factors.},
  author       = {Bietenbeck, Jan and Piopiunik, Marc and Wiederhold, Simon},
  issn         = {0022-166X},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {553--578},
  publisher    = {University of Wisconsin Press},
  series       = {Journal of Human Resources},
  title        = {Africa's Skill Tragedy : Does Teachers' Lack of Knowledge Lead to Low Student Performance?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3368/jhr.53.3.0616-8002R1},
  volume       = {53},
  year         = {2018},
}