Pension-Induced Rigidities in the Labor Market for School Leaders
Educators in public schools in the United States are typically enrolled in defined-benefit pension plans, which penalize across-plan mobility. We use administrative data from Missouri to examine how the mobility penalties affect the labor market for school leaders. We show that pension borders greatly affect leadership flows across schools – for two groups of schools separated by a pension border, our estimates indicate that removing the border will increase leadership mobility between them by 97 to 163 percent. We consider the implications of the pension-induced rigidities in the leadership labor market for schools near pension borders in Missouri. Our findings are of general interest given that thousands of public schools operate near pension boundaries nationwide.
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