Andrew Bacher-Hicks

Harvard Kennedy School

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2019The School to Prison Pipeline: Long-Run Impacts of School Suspensions on Adult Crime
with Stephen B. Billings, David J. Deming: w26257
Schools face important policy tradeoffs in monitoring and managing student behavior. Strict discipline policies may stigmatize suspended students and expose them to the criminal justice system at a young age. On the other hand, strict discipline acts as a deterrent and limits harmful spillovers of misbehavior onto other students. This paper estimates the net impact of school discipline on student achievement, educational attainment and adult criminal activity. Using exogenous variation in school assignment caused by a large and sudden boundary change and a supplementary design based on principal switches, we show that schools with higher suspension rates have substantial negative long-run impacts. Students assigned to a school that has a one standard deviation higher suspension rate are 15...
July 2019The Price to Consumers of Generic Pharmaceuticals: Beyond the Headlines
with Richard G. Frank, Ernst R. Berndt: w26120
Generic drug prices have been the focus of much attention in recent years, with Congressional committees, executive agencies and private organizations all conducting investigations into the pricing patterns for generic drugs. Price spikes for selected old, off-patent drugs have also been widely reported in the media. To place these generic price increases into context, we construct two chained Laspeyres consumer price indexes (CPIs), using the 2007-2016 IBM MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Research Database. The first ("direct out-of-pocket CPI") measures consumers' direct out-of-pocket payments to the dispensing pharmacy, while the second ("total CPI") represents the total revenues received by the dispensing pharmacy – the consumers' direct out-of-pocket payments plus the am...
June 2017An Evaluation of Bias in Three Measures of Teacher Quality: Value-Added, Classroom Observations, and Student Surveys
with Mark J. Chin, Thomas J. Kane, Douglas O. Staiger: w23478
There are three primary measures of teaching performance: student test-based measures (i.e., value added), classroom observations, and student surveys. Although all three types of measures could be biased by unmeasured traits of the students in teachers’ classrooms, prior research has largely focused on the validity of value-added measures. We conduct an experiment involving 66 mathematics teachers in four school districts and test the validity of all three types of measures. Specifically, we test whether a teacher’s performance on each measure under naturally occurring (i.e., non-experimental) settings predicts performance following random assignment of that teacher to a class of students. Combining our results with those from two previous experiments, we provide further evidence that val...
November 2014Validating Teacher Effect Estimates Using Changes in Teacher Assignments in Los Angeles
with Thomas J. Kane, Douglas O. Staiger: w20657
In a widely cited study, Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff (2014a; hereafter CFR) evaluate the degree of bias in teacher value-added estimates using a novel "teacher switching" research design with data from New York City. They conclude that there is little to no bias in their estimates. Using the same model with data from North Carolina, Rothstein (2014) argued that the CFR research design is invalid, given a relationship between student baseline test scores and teachers' value-added. In this paper, we replicated the CFR analysis using data from the Los Angeles Unified School District and similarly found that teacher value-added estimates were valid predictors of student achievement. We also demonstrate that Rothstein's test does not invalidate the CFR design and instead reflects a mechanica...
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