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Worker Absence and Productivity: Evidence from Teaching

Author

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  • Mariesa A. Herrmann
  • Jonah E. Rockoff

Abstract

A significant amount of work time is lost each year due to worker absence, but evidence on the productivity losses from absenteeism remains scant due to difficulties with identification. We use uniquely detailed data on the timing, duration, and cause of absences among teachers to address many of the potential biases from the endogeneity of worker absence. Our analysis indicates that worker absences have large negative impacts: the expected loss in daily productivity from employing a temporary substitute is on par with replacing a regular worker of average productivity with one at the 10th-20th percentile of productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariesa A. Herrmann & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2012. "Worker Absence and Productivity: Evidence from Teaching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 749-782.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/666537
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. World Bank Group, 2015. "Education Service Delivery in Tanzania," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24797, The World Bank.
    3. Akogun, Oladele & Dillon, Andrew & Friedman, Jed & Prasann, Ashesh & Serneels, Pieter, 2017. "Productivity and Health: Alternative Productivity Estimates Using Physical Activity," IZA Discussion Papers 11115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Ost, Ben & Schiman, Jeffrey C., 2017. "Workload and teacher absence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 20-30.
    5. Seth Gershenson, 2016. "Performance Standards and Employee Effort: Evidence From Teacher Absences," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(3), pages 615-638, June.
    6. repec:zbw:espost:162940 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 15-34.
    8. Jason A. Grissom & Susanna Loeb & Nathaniel Nakashima, 2013. "Strategic Involuntary Teacher Transfers and Teacher Performance: Examining Equity and Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 19108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Dan Goldhaber & Michael Hansen, 2013. "Is it Just a Bad Class? Assessing the Long-term Stability of Estimated Teacher Performance," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(319), pages 589-612, July.
    10. Hayes, Michael S. & Gershenson, Seth, 2016. "What differences a day can make: Quantile regression estimates of the distribution of daily learning gains," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 48-51.
    11. Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1-14.
    12. Seth Gershenson & Alison Jacknowitz & Andrew Brannegan, 2017. "Are Student Absences Worth the Worry in U.S. Primary Schools?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(2), pages 137-165, Spring.
    13. Seth Gershenson & Stephen B. Holt & Nicholas Papageorge, 2015. "Who Believes in Me? The Effect of Student-Teacher Demographic Match on Teacher Expectations," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 15-231, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    14. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    15. Sarena F. Goodman & Lesley J. Turner, 2013. "The Design of Teacher Incentive Pay and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the New York City Bonus Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 409-420.
    16. Gershenson, Seth & Jacknowitz, Alison & Brannegan, Andrew, 2015. "Are Student Absences Worth the Worry in U.S. Primary Schools?," IZA Discussion Papers 9558, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Dan Goldhaber & Cyrus Grout & Nick Huntington-Klein, 2017. "Screen Twice, Cut Once: Assessing the Predictive Validity of Applicant Selection Tools," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(2), pages 197-223, Spring.

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