From: Moshe Adler [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2014 12:51 PM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Fwd: final versions of value-added papers
Dear AER editors:
As you can see from the forwarded email below, Professor Raj Chetty wrote to me to tell me that he has two papers about teacher evaluation forthcoming in the AER. Since I do not know who among you was the editor for these papers, I am taking the liberty of writing to all of you.
I recently reviewed the Chetty et al. papers on behalf of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) and discovered problems that I think you should be aware of. I am attaching the NEPC review. In brief, some of the problems are these:
1. In the first version of the article the authors had 61,639 observations for 30 year olds and they discovered that the hypothesis that teacher value-added has no effect on income at age 30 couldnŐt be rejected. In the version that you are about to publish, the existence of this result is not mentioned. The only result that is mentioned is for 28 year olds.
2. In the version you are about to publish the authors report only the result for the effect of teacher value-added on 28 year olds. It does not report any results for 30 year olds even though in this version they had 220,000 observations for 30 year olds.
3. In both versions the percentage increase in income for 28 year olds is assumed to hold through a personŐs entire life, even though the authorsŐ result for 30 year olds makes this assumption invalid.
4. In calculating the percentage increase in income the authors include in the base 29.6% of the observations who were assigned zero income because they did not report income. Including zero income in the base is misleading.
5. The authors cite in support of their methodology two studies, one by James Heckman et al. and one by David Deming. These studies have no bearing on the methodology in these articles, as Heckman et al. take pains to point out in the article cited.
There are other serious problems with the articles, as you will see from the attached review.
May 7, 2014
Dear Dr. Adler,
Thank you for your email. I am the Co-Editor that handled the Chetty, Friedman and Rockoff papers forthcoming in the AER.
I have looked through your report and appreciate the care and attention to the study.
We (the Editor in Chief and myself) have looked into the matter and found that Chetty and coauthors have responded to your comments (posted at (http://obs.rc.fas.harvard.edu/chetty/Adler_response.pdf). We have reviewed this document and find the Chetty and coauthors' response satisfactory.
Thanks again for your interest in the American Economic Review.
Professor of Public Policy and Economics and Co-Editor American Economic Review
Haas Distinguished Chair of Economic Disparities
Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California, Berkeley
2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
(510) 643-9657 fax