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Labour market for teachers: Demographic characteristics and allocative mechanisms


  • Gianna Barbieri

    () (Ministry of Education)

  • Piero Cipollone

    () (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)

  • Paolo Sestito

    () (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)


The paper considers the teachers� labour market in Italy. The quality and motivation of teachers are certainly among the determinants of pupils� achievement, but they are difficult to measure, so we examine the composition of the pool of teachers and their behaviour to infer information about them. We look also at the institutional features that motivate the implicit contract that drives Italian teachers' behaviour, which essentially involves low salary and correspondingly low commitment and effort. In particular we examine the mechanism that allocates teachers to schools. For each school we construct three indicators; one indicating the level of turnover, which we interpret as a source of turmoil; one that refers to the mismatch between tenured teachers and their school; and a �revealed preferences indicator� that measures the schools� quality as evaluated by the population of tenured teachers. We measure the association at the school level of our indicators with achievement as gauged by PISA 2003. Students scores are correlated negatively to the turnover and the mismatch indicators, positively to revealed preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Gianna Barbieri & Piero Cipollone & Paolo Sestito, 2008. "Labour market for teachers: Demographic characteristics and allocative mechanisms," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 672, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_672_08

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 433-464, May.
    2. Piero Cipollone & Alfonso Rosolia, 2007. "Social Interactions in High School: Lessons from an Earthquake," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 948-965, June.
    3. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    4. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2007. "Are Teacher Absences Worth Worrying About in the U.S.?," NBER Working Papers 13648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "The Effects of a Centralized Clearinghouse on Job Placement, Wages, and Hiring Practices," NBER Chapters,in: Studies of Labor Market Intermediation, pages 235-271 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2007. "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 95-135.
    7. Bratti, Massimiliano & Checchi, Daniele & Filippin, Antonio, 2007. "Territorial Differences in Italian Students’ Mathematical Competencies: Evidence from PISA 2003," IZA Discussion Papers 2603, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2010. "Teacher Credentials and Student Achievement in High School: A Cross-Subject Analysis with Student Fixed Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
    9. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 34-63, February.
    10. John Bishop & Ludger Wossmann, 2004. "Institutional Effects in a Simple Model of Educational Production," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 17-38.
    11. Caroline M. Hoxby & Andrew Leigh, 2004. "Pulled Away or Pushed Out? Explaining the Decline of Teacher Aptitude in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 236-240, May.
    12. Sean P. Corcoran & William N. Evans & Robert S. Schwab, 2002. "Changing Labor Market Opportunities for Women and the Quality of Teachers 1957-1992," NBER Working Papers 9180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Masci, Chiara & Ieva, Francesca & Agasisti, Tommaso & Paganoni, Anna Maria, 2016. "Does class matter more than school? Evidence from a multilevel statistical analysis on Italian junior secondary school students," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 47-57.
    2. Amanda Carmignani & Francesco Bripi & Raffaela Giordano, 2011. "The quality of public services in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 84, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. 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.
    4. Sauro Mocetti, 2012. "Educational choices and the selection process: before and after compulsory schooling," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 189-209, February.

    More about this item


    Teachers labour market; Italian educational system;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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