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The spatial geography of teacher labor markets: Evidence from a developing country


  • Jaramillo, Miguel


An unequal distribution of teacher quality is a problem underlying the unequal distribution of educational outcomes in developing countries. However, we know little about how the labor market produces such a distribution. Using data from two regions in Peru, we investigate whether there is a national teacher market or smaller regional markets. We estimate discrete-choice multinomial models to identify variables (including teacher characteristics, institutional features and geographical factors) associated with the location of teachers in the first jobs of their careers. Results indicate that teacher markets are regional in scope. Being born in a certain province (sub-area of a region) substantially increases the probability of having a first teaching position in that same province. We also find evidence that the geographic mobility of teachers is quite limited. Results suggest that policies to strengthen teacher educational systems and reduce inequities should focus on the regional level.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaramillo, Miguel, 2012. "The spatial geography of teacher labor markets: Evidence from a developing country," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 984-995.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:984-995 DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.07.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard J. Murnane, 1981. "Teacher Mobility Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(1), pages 3-19.
    2. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    3. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766555, March.
    4. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "Explaining the Short Careers of High-Achieving Teachers in Schools with Low-Performing Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 166-171, May.
    5. Guarino, Cassandra M. & Brown, Abigail B. & Wyse, Adam E., 2011. "Can districts keep good teachers in the schools that need them most?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 962-979, October.
    6. Gregory, Robert G. & Borland, Jeff, 1999. "Recent developments in public sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 53, pages 3573-3630 Elsevier.
    7. Torberg Falch & Bjarne Strøm, 2003. "Teacher Turnover and Non-Pecuniary Factors," Working Paper Series 3604, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    8. Scafidi, Benjamin & Sjoquist, David L. & Stinebrickner, Todd R., 2007. "Race, poverty, and teacher mobility," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 145-159, April.
    9. Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2002. "Evaluating the Impact of School Decentralization on Educational Quality," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 275-314, January.
    10. Barbieri, Gianna & Rossetti, Claudio & Sestito, Paolo, 2011. "The determinants of teacher mobility: Evidence using Italian teachers’ transfer applications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1430-1444.
    11. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 1998. "Expenditure Decentralization and the Delivery of Public Services in Developing Countries," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233623, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    12. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "The draw of home: How teachers' preferences for proximity disadvantage urban schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 113-132.
    13. World Bank, 2001. "Peruvian Education at a Crossroads : Challenges and Opportunities for the 21st Century," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13948.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pugatch, Todd & Schroeder, Elizabeth, 2014. "Incentives for teacher relocation: Evidence from the Gambian hardship allowance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 120-136.
    2. Fagernäs, Sonja & Pelkonen, Panu, 2017. "Where's the Teacher? How Teacher Workplace Segregation Impedes Teacher Allocation in India," IZA Discussion Papers 10595, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Education economics; Teacher labor markets; Geography;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities


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