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

Jan Bietenbeck, Marc Piopiunik () and Simon Wiederhold ()

No 5470, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich

Abstract: Student performance in Sub-Saharan Africa is tragically low. We study the importance of teacher subject knowledge for student performance in this region using unique international assessment data for sixth-grade students and their teachers. To circumvent potential bias due to unobserved student heterogeneity, we exploit variation within students across math and reading. After measurement-error correction, a one-standard-deviation increase in teacher subject knowledge raises student performance by 4% of a standard deviation. Results are robust to adding teacher fixed effects and are not driven by student or teacher sorting. Furthermore, teacher knowledge and school resources appear to be complements in student learning.

Keywords: teacher knowledge; student performance; Sub-Saharan Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J24 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

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http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5470.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Africa’s Skill Tragedy: Does Teachers’ Lack of Knowledge Lead to Low Student Performance? (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Africa's Skill Tragedy: Does Teachers' Lack of Knowledge Lead to Low Student Performance? (2016) Downloads
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