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Merit Pay for School Superintendents?

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  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg
  • Richard P. Chaykowski
  • Randy A. Ehrenberg

Abstract

Given the important role that school district administrators play in the educational process, one might expect their "performance" to be of fundamental importance in determining both how much students learn and the cost of public education to taxpayers. Yet, while public debate has considered the issue of merit pay plans for teachers, virtually no attention has been directed to the methods by which school administrators are compensated. This paper provides evidence on whether school superintendents are explicitly or implicitly rewarded for their "performance" by higher compensation and/or greater opportunities for mobility. We analyze panel data from over 700 school 'districts in New Ycrk State during the 1978-79 to 1982-83 period. Measures of performance are defined and then entered into salary level, salary change, and mobility equations. While evidence is provided that school superintendents are rewarded for "performance", the magnitude of the rewards appear to be quite small.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1954.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1954.

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Date of creation: Nov 1988
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Publication status: published as "Determinants of the Compenstation and Mobility of School Superintendents" From Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol.41, No.3, pp. 386-401,(April 1988).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1954

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  1. Sherwin Rosen, 1981. "Studies in Labor Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rose81-1, May.
  2. Masson, Robert Tempest, 1971. "Executive Motivations, Earnings, and Consequent Equity Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1278-92, Nov.-Dec..
  3. Jensen, Michael C. & Zimmerman, Jerold L., 1985. "Management compensation and the managerial labor market," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 3-9, April.
  4. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
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