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To Teach or not to Teach? Panel Data Evidence on the Quitting Decision

  • Paul Frijters
  • Michael A. Shields
  • Stephen Wheatley Price

The question we address in this paper is which factors influence the quitting decision of public sector teachers in England and Wales, using a nationally representative panel data set over 1997-2003. We document the outcomes of former teachers, fit single and competing-risks duration models and examine the influence of relative pay on retention. Surprisingly, we find that teachers who move to outside employment earn 22% less pay, work longer hours, in largely nonprofessional occupations and mainly stay within the public sector. We estimate that a 10% increase in teachers’ relative pay would reduce annual quitting rates by less than 1%.

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Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 916.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:916
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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  1. Baker, Michael & Melino, Angelo, 2000. "Duration dependence and nonparametric heterogeneity: A Monte Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 357-393, June.
  2. Dolton, Peter J, 1990. "The Economics of UK Teacher Supply: The Graduate's Decision," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(400), pages 91-104, Supplemen.
  3. Dolton, Peter J., 2006. "Teacher Supply," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  4. Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, . "Gender, Race, Pay and Promotion in the British Nursing Profession Estimation of a Generalised Ordered ProbitModel," Discussion Papers in Economics 97/4, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  5. Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Addressing nurse shortages: what can policy makers learn from the econometric evidence on nurse labour supply?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(499), pages F464-F498, November.
  6. Paul Frijters & Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2004. "Investigating the Quitting Decision of Nurses: Panel Data Evidence from the British National Health Service," CEPR Discussion Papers 471, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  7. Murnane, Richard J & Olsen, Randall J, 1989. "The Effects of Salaries and Opportunity Costs on Duration in Teaching: Evidence from Michigan," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 347-52, May.
  8. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Richard J. Murnane & Randall J. Olsen, 1990. "The Effects of Salaries and Opportunity Costs on Length of Stay in Teaching: Evidence from North Carolina," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 106-124.
  10. Stinebrickner, Todd R., 1998. "An Empirical Investigation of Teacher Attrition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 127-136, April.
  11. Tsung Ping Chung & Peter Dolton & Andrew Tremayne, 2004. "The Determinants Of Teacher Supply: Time Series Evidence For The UK, 1962-2001," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 66, Royal Economic Society.
  12. Paul Frijters, 2003. "Testing for Employee Discrimination using Matched Employer-Employee Data: Theory and Evidence," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2003-1, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  13. Frederick Flyer & Sherwin Rosen, 1994. "The New Economics of Teachers and Education," NBER Working Papers 4828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Torberg Falch & Bjarne Strøm, 2003. "Teacher Turnover and Non-Pecuniary Factors," Working Paper Series 3604, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  15. Dale Ballou & Michael Podgursky, 1995. "Recruiting Smarter Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 326-338.
  16. Theobald, Neil D. & Gritz, R. Mark, 1996. "The effects of school district spending priorities on the exit paths of beginning teachers leaving the district," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 11-22, February.
  17. Eric A. Hanushek & EJohn F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2004. "Why Public Schools Lose Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  18. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
  19. Stinebrickner, Todd R, 2001. "A Dynamic Model of Teacher Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 196-230, January.
  20. Murnane, Richard J, 1984. "Selection and Survival in the Teacher Labor Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(3), pages 513-18, August.
  21. Susanna Loeb & Marianne E. Page, 2000. "Examining The Link Between Teacher Wages And Student Outcomes: The Importance Of Alternative Labor Market Opportunities And Non-Pecuniary Variation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, August.
  22. Dolton, Peter J & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Leaving Teaching in the UK: A Duration Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 431-44, March.
  23. Stinebrickner, Todd R, 2001. "Compensation Policies and Teacher Decisions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 751-79, August.
  24. Brewer, Dominic J, 1996. "Career Paths and Quit Decisions: Evidence from Teaching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 313-39, April.
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