Last updated on: 5/31/2012 | Author:

Raj Chetty, PhD Biography

Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research
Pro to the question "Do Standardized Tests Improve Education in America?"

“One method [of measuring teacher quality] is to evaluate teachers based on their impacts on students’ test scores, commonly termed the ‘value-added’ (VA) approach. A teacher’s value-added is defined as the average test-score gain for his or her students, adjusted for differences across classrooms in student characteristics such as prior scores. School districts from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles have begun to use VA to evaluate teachers. Proponents argue that using VA can improve student achievement… while critics argue that test score gains are poor proxies for a teacher’s true quality…

We find that students assigned to higher VA teachers are more successful in many dimensions. They are more likely to attend college, earn higher salaries, live in better neighborhoods, and save more for retirement. They are also less likely to have children as teenagers.”

Cowritten with John N. Friedman and Jonah E. Rockoff, “The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood [Executive Summary],” Harvard University Research Computing Group website, Dec. 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Member, Congressional Budget Office Panel of Economic Advisers, Apr. 2011-present
  • Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University, Apr. 2009-present
  • Director, Lab for Economic Applications and Policy, Harvard University, Apr. 2009-present
  • Editor, Journal of Public Economics, Jan. 2009-present (Co-Editor
    July 2007–Dec. 2008, Associate Editor, Jan. 2006-June 2007)

  • Co-Director, Public Economics Program, National Bureau of Economic Research, Aug. 2008-present
  • Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, July 2007-present (Faculty Research Fellow, July 2003-June 2007)
  • Recipient, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy Best Paper Prize, 2012
  • Recipient, Mahalanobis Memorial Medal of the Indian Econometric Society, 2012
  • Member, Board of Editors, Journal of Economic Literature, Jan. 2007-Jan. 2010
  • Recipient, IZA (Institute for the Study of Labor) Young Labor Economist Award, 2010
  • Co-Director, State Capabilities Group, International Growth Centre, Sep. 2008-Sep. 2009
  • Professor, Department of Economics, University of California at Berkeley, July 2008-Mar. 2009 (Associate Professor with tenure, July 2007-June 2008, Assistant Professor, July 2003-June 2007)
  • National Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Sep. 2007-July 2008
  • Recipient, CESIfo (Center for Economic Studies-Ifo Institute) Distinguished Research Affiliate Award, 2008
  • Recipient, American Young Economist Award, 2008
  • PhD, Economics, Harvard University, 2003
  • BA, summa cum laude, Economics, Harvard College, 2000
  • Valedictorian, University School of Milwaukee, 1997
  • Recipient, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 2008
  • Recipient, NSF (National Science Foundation) CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development) Grant, 2007
  • Recipient, Smith Richardson Public Policy Research Fellowship, 2005
  • Selected for the Review of Economic Studies Tour, 2003
  • Recipient, National Tax Association Best Dissertation Prize, 2003
  • Recipient, State Farm Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2002
  • Recipient, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2000
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa (inducted as a junior), 2000
  • Recipient, Harris, Hoopes, and Williams Prizes (Best Thesis and Undergraduate in Economics at Harvard), 2000
  • Born Aug. 4, 1979
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Do Standardized Tests Improve Education in America?