Assistant Professor Di Xu has been awarded a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship: "The Impacts of Different Types of College Instructors on Students’ Academic and Labor Market Outcomes -- Evidence from both Two-Year and Four-Year Colleges."
Based on a novel dataset that links college administrative information with earnings records from a state college system for almost 80,000 students enrolled at either two-year or four-year colleges, this project will relate the proportion of course credits taken with different types of instructors during a student’s initial semester in college to her academic and labor market outcomes. To minimize bias from student sorting by instructors, I will use a course-set fixed effect model that compares between students who take exactly the same set of courses during their first semester of college enrollment; I will further augment the model by combining it with an instrumental approach which exploits term-by-term fluctuations in faculty composition in each department, therefore controlling for both between- and within- course sorting. Finally, based on the rich information on instructors’ demographic characteristics and multi-year employment records in this state, I will explore the extent to which instructor effectiveness can be explained by observable instructor demographic characteristics and employment features. This study will provide the first quasi-experimental evidence regarding the impact of different types of college instructors on student labor market outcomes, as well as a comprehensive exploration of possible mechanisms that may explain such impacts.
Dr. Xu and Dr. Emily Penner are two UCI School of Education faculty awarded a 2018 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship out of 30 awarded nationwide. PhD student Sabrina Solanki was awarded a National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship.