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Career Mobility Patterns of Public School Teachers

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  • Vera, Celia Patricia

Abstract

One issue that has pervaded policy discussions for decades is the difficulty that school districts experience in retaining teachers. Almost a quarter of entering public school teachers leave teaching within the first three years and empirical evidence has related high attrition rates of beginner teachers to family circumstances, such as maternity or marriage. I examine female teachers' career choices and inquire about the effects that wage increases and child care subsidies have on their employment decisions. I set up a dynamic model of job search where individuals simultaneously make employment and fertility decisions, fit it to data from a national longitudinal survey and estimate it by Simulated Method of Moments. Estimates indicate that gains of exiting the teaching workforce to start a family vary between 75% and 88% of the average teaching wage if the exit occurs during the first five years. At late periods and provided a positive stock of children, nonpecuniary penalties to return to teach lie between one and two times the average teaching wage. A 20 percent raise in teaching wages increases retention by 14% and decreases the proportion of teachers giving birth by 50%. Results suggest that fertility changes occur not only at earlier periods but also after a career interruption when teachers are considering a returning decision. The effectiveness of the wage policy in attracting back to the field individuals who left teaching to enroll in nonteaching jobs is positively associated with the greatest impact that the policy has on fertility in nonteaching. Child care subsidies increase retention by 11% and 29% with the lowest and highest subsidy, respectively. New births are concentrated at earlier periods of teachers' careers and thus, generate longer first teaching spells. However, large nonpecuniary rewards at late periods of the non labor market alternative relative to being in teaching as well as exits out of the workforce concentrated at later periods lead the decrease of returning rates of teachers who dropped the workforce altogether.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 49340.

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Date of creation: 23 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49340

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Keywords: Teachers; Fertility; Attrition; Structural Model.;

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  1. Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2002. "An Analysis of Occupational Change and Departure from the Labor Force: Evidence of the Reasons that Teachers Leave," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 192-216.
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  6. Benjamin Scafidi & David L. Sjoquist & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2005. "Do Teachers Really Leave for Higher Paying Jobs in Alternative Occupations?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20055, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
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  8. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2012. "On the Use of Expectations Data in Estimating Structural Dynamic Choice Models," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(3), pages 521 - 554.
  9. Stinebrickner, Todd R, 2001. "Compensation Policies and Teacher Decisions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 751-79, August.
  10. R. Mark Gritz & Neil D. Theobald, 1996. "The Effects of School District Spending Priorities on Length of Stay in Teaching," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 477-512.
  11. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  13. Peter Dolton & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 1999. "The Turnover of Teachers: A Competing Risks Explanation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 543-550, August.
  14. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
  15. Stinebrickner, Todd R, 2001. "A Dynamic Model of Teacher Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 196-230, January.
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