Public Accountability and Nudges: The Effect of an Information Intervention on the Responsiveness of Teacher Education Programs to External Ratings

Working Paper Number: 
WP 19-02

In the summer of 2013, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) issued public ratings of teacher education programs. We provide the first empirical examination of NCTQ ratings, beginning with a descriptive overview of the ratings and how they evolved from 2013-2016. We also report on results from an information experiment built around the initial ratings release. In the experiment we provided targeted information about specific programmatic changes that would improve the rating for a randomly selected sample of elementary teacher education programs. Average program ratings improved between 2013 and 2016, but we find no evidence that the information intervention increased program responsiveness to NCTQ’s rating effort. In fact, treated programs had lower ratings than the control group in 2016.

JEL Codes: 
D8, I2, J4

Dan Goldhaber