Evaluating Professor Value-added: Evidence from Professor and Student Matching in Physics

Author: Yuta Kikuchi, Ryo Nakajima
Date: 2017/3/24
No: DP2017-007
JEL Classification codes: D83, I23, J24
Language: English
[ Abstract ]

*March 24, 2017 revised


This paper estimates a professor's value added to a postgraduate student's research achievement growth using unique panel data on matched advisor-advisee pairs in a world-leading physics graduate program. To address an identification problem related to the endogenous selection of advisors and advisees, we use professor turnover and estimate a semi-parametric lower bound of the variance in advisor quality affecting advisee research performance. We find that a one-standard-deviation increase in professor quality results in a 0.54 standard deviation increase in a doctoral student's research achievement growth, increasing the number of first-authored papers that are published in top journals by 0.64 at the doctoral level.