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Weak Markets, Strong Teachers: Recession at Career Start and Teacher Effectiveness

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  • Markus Nagler
  • Marc Piopiunik
  • Martin R. West

Abstract

How do alternative job opportunities affect teacher quality? We provide causal evidence on this question by exploiting business cycle conditions at career start as a source of exogenous variation in the outside options of potential teachers. Unlike prior research, we directly assess teacher quality with value-added measures of impacts on student test scores, using administrative data on over 30,000 Florida public school teachers. Consistent with a Roy model of occupational choice, teachers entering the profession during recessions are significantly more effective in raising student test scores. Results are supported by robustness tests and unlikely to be driven by differential attrition.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Nagler & Marc Piopiunik & Martin R. West, 2020. "Weak Markets, Strong Teachers: Recession at Career Start and Teacher Effectiveness," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 453-500.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/705883
    DOI: 10.1086/705883
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    Cited by:

    1. Braga, Michela & Checchi, Daniele & Scervini, Francesco & Garrouste, Christelle, 2020. "Selecting or rewarding teachers? International evidence from primary schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    2. Danilo Paula de Souza & Mauro Rodrigues Junior, 2016. "Education quality and non-convergence," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2016_24, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    3. Alena Bicakova & Guido Matias Cortes & Jacopo Mazza, 2018. "Caught in the Cycle: Economic Conditions at Enrollment and Labor Market Outcomes of College Graduates," Working Paper series 18-32, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    4. Julie Berry Cullen & Cory Koedel & Eric Parsons, 2021. "The Compositional Effect of Rigorous Teacher Evaluation on Workforce Quality," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 16(1), pages 7-41, Winter.
    5. Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Educational inequality and public policy preferences: Evidence from representative survey experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    6. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Delia Furtado, 2019. "Settling for Academia?: H-1B Visas and the Career Choices of International Students in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(2), pages 401-429.
    7. Joseph Marchand & Jeremy G. Weber, 2020. "How Local Economic Conditions Affect School Finances, Teacher Quality, and Student Achievement: Evidence from the Texas Shale Boom," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(1), pages 36-63, January.
    8. Laura D. Quinby, 2020. "Do Deferred Retirement Benefits Retain Government Employees?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 469-509, March.
    9. Benjamin Master & Min Sun? & Susanna Loeb, 2018. "Teacher Workforce Developments: Recent Changes in Academic Competitiveness and Job Satisfaction of New Teachers," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 13(3), pages 310-332, Summer.
    10. Adriana Grenčíková & Marcel Kordoš & Jozef Bartek & Vladislav Berkovič, 2021. "The Impact of the Industry 4.0 Concept on Slovak Business Sustainability within the Issue of the Pandemic Outbreak," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(9), pages 1-14, April.
    11. Brown, Jessica H. & Herbst, Chris M., 2021. "Child Care over the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 14048, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Kraft, Matthew A. & Brunner, Eric J. & Dougherty, Shaun M. & Schwegman, David J., 2020. "Teacher accountability reforms and the supply and quality of new teachers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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