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Teacher Mobility: Can Financial Incentives Help Disadvantaged Schools to Retain Their Teachers?


  • Corinne Prost


This paper studies teacher mobility in France using unique matched teacher-school data. All tenured teachers in lower secondary schools are included in the analysis. Some institutional features of the French educational system are particularly interesting for analyzing the effect of non-pecuniary factors on mobility decisions: completely centralized wage setting; explicit and centralized mobility rule setting; a career-based system where teachers are civil servants and rarely quit. Moreover, a specific program, implemented in September 1990, awards bonuses to teachers in some disadvantaged areas (Zones d'Education Prioritaire). Together, these give us the opportunity to assess the impact of this type of financial incentives. We find that teachers tend to switch schools when they work in establishments with a high proportion of less able students, students from minority groups and/or students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, teachers who do not work in the region where they were born are more likely to move. Finally, regarding pecuniary factors, it appears that the incentives driven by bonuses are not sufficient to retain teachers in ZEP schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Corinne Prost, 2013. "Teacher Mobility: Can Financial Incentives Help Disadvantaged Schools to Retain Their Teachers?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 111-112, pages 171-191.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2013:i:111-112:p:171-191

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