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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
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Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia

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  1. 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.
  2. Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, 2000. "Gender, race, pay and promotion in the British nursing profession: estimation of a generalized ordered probit model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 367-399.
  3. Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A. & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2003. "Testing for Employee Discrimination Using Matched Employer-Employee Data: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 807, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Frederick Flyer & Sherwin Rosen, 1994. "The New Economics of Teachers and Education," NBER Working Papers 4828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2003. "Investigating the Quitting Decision of Nurses: Panel Data Evidence from the British National Health Service," IZA Discussion Papers 794, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. 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.
  9. Torberg Falch & Bjarne Strøm, 2003. "Teacher Turnover and Non-Pecuniary Factors," Working Paper Series 3604, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  17. 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.
  18. Stinebrickner, Todd R., 1998. "An Empirical Investigation of Teacher Attrition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 127-136, April.
  19. 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.
  20. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2000. "Duration Models: Specification, Identification, and Multiple Durations," MPRA Paper 9446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Dolton, Peter J., 2006. "Teacher Supply," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  24. Dale Ballou & Michael Podgursky, 1995. "Recruiting Smarter Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 326-338.
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