From: Raj Chetty <>
Date: Sat, May 3, 2014 at 4:53 PM
Subject: final versions of value-added papers
To: Moshe Adler <>

Dear Professor Adler,

I thought you might be interested in the final versions of our teacher
value-added papers, which are now forthcoming in the American Economic

These papers were previously combined as a single paper (NBER wp
17699). When we submitted the paper to the AER, the editor and all
three referees said they felt there were two AER quality articles here
and encouraged us to develop them separately for publication
back-to-back in the AER. To our knowledge, this is one of the first
times this has occurred in economics since Peter Diamond and Jim
Mirrlees published their seminal work on optimal taxation in 1971,
which later led to two Nobel prizes.

You might also be interested in the recent papers by Kane, Staiger,
and Bacher-Hicks, who replicate the results of our first paper in the
LA school district, and Chamberlain (PNAS 2013), who replicated the
results on long-term impacts for a paper he wrote when he was elected
to the National Academy of Sciences.

Best regards,

Raj Chetty



From: Moshe Adler [
Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2014 12:51 PM
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.




Moshe Adler



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 (  We have reviewed this document and find the Chetty and coauthors' response satisfactory.

Thanks again for your interest in the American Economic Review.

Hilary Hoynes


Hilary Hoynes

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) 642-1166 ph

(510) 643-9657 fax