Teacher quality and high school completion : Evidence from Norwegian register data
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- Master of Science 
Students assigned to high value-added teachers benefit in the long term. They are more likely to attend college, get higher income, and less likely to have children as teenagers (Chetty, Friedman, & Rockoff, 2011). Students who drop out of high school will be restricted from attaining higher education and thus face limited career possibilities later in life. Hence, the problem of high school dropouts is a major economic and social concern. In this thesis, we investigate whether middle school teachers education is a determining factor in the probability that students complete high school. We combine four data sets to estimate our main model with middle school fixed effects. The detailed data on teacher characteristics has been of particular interest, considering it has not been used before. The model has advantages as it uses the within group variation, specifically, within middle school variation in teacher education over time. We focus on two key variables at middle school, teachers with and without teacher education, and teachers with short and long higher education. Specifically, we find that there is a positive relationship between middle school teachers with teacher education and high school completion. We find that a 10 percentage point increase in the share of teachers with teacher education (about two thirds of a standard deviation) increases the probability of high school completion with about half a percentage point. In other words, it takes a 20 percentage point increase in the share of teachers with teacher education to increase the probability of high school completion with one percentage point. In addition, we find that the level of education is not associated with high school dropouts. That is, it does not make any difference whether middle school teachers hold a master’s or a bachelor’s degree. We discuss that increasing pedagogical competence in the middle schools could contribute to lower high school dropout if the results are due to the pedagogical part of teacher education. However, we also consider that the result could indicate that it is important to work within your field of education.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Economics - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2017