Service scholarships and the formation and sorting of talented teachers
Nicolas Rojas Souyet

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



Teachers College, Columbia University

Primary Discipline

Hiring qualified teachers and successfully placing teachers in low-income schools are two common challenges in serval countries. The shortage of qualified teachers is a pressing issue given the substantial short and long-run effects of more effective teachers on student education and long-run life outcomes, a problem exacerbated in low-income schools. Service scholarships are one financial incentive strategy used to attract prospective teachers and address these problems in several places like Chile and the US. Existing studies on the causal effects of this policy concentrate on the increase in the number of teachers. However, recipients may expand the teacher workforce but choose less-challenging schools during the scholarship or over time, potentially reducing the policy?s ability to close the opportunity gap between higher and lower-income students. Thus, there is still a need for further research to help answer: Do service scholarships help to staff the schools in need and close the opportunity gap? In this project, I use 12 years of national observations and a regression discontinuity design to study the effects of a scholarship covering all the tuition costs of high-scoring prospective teachers in Chile on many aspects of the formation and allocation of teachers.
About Nicolas Rojas Souyet
Nicolás Rojas Souyet is a Ph.D. candidate in the Economics and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Nicolás is an applied microeconomist that studies policies related to the quality and equity of education. His research focuses on school accountability, teacher hiring, and causal inference methods to understand and improve the effectiveness of these policies. In his dissertation, Nicolás uses more than ten years of data, a national-scale program, and a quasi-experimental research design to study how service scholarships impact the formation and allocation of talented teachers in Chile. Before pursuing his doctorate at Teachers College, Nicolás worked for several years at the Ministry of Education and the Quality of Education Agency of Chile on the design, proposal, and implementation of school accountability. At the Quality of Education Agency, he also developed a library collecting previously unavailable 80?s and 90?s datasets, surveys, and documents related to educational measurement in Chile. He also worked as an adjunct professor of Introduction to Economics and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

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