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The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: Evidence from Public Schooling

  • Brian A. Jacob
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    This paper studies the effect of employment protection on worker productivity and firm output in the context of a public school system. In 2004, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) signed a new collective bargaining agreement that gave principals the flexibility to dismiss probationary teachers (defined as those with less than five years of experience) for any reason, and without the elaborate documentation and hearing process typical in many large, urban school districts. Results suggest that the policy reduced annual teacher absences by roughly 10 percent and reduced the prevalence of teachers with 15 or more annual absences by 20 percent. The effects were strongest among teachers in elementary schools and in low-achieving, predominantly African-American high schools, and among teachers with highpredicted absences. There is also evidence that the impact of the policy increased substantially after its first year.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15655.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2010
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published as The Effect of Employment Protection on Teacher Effort Brian A. Jacob Journal of Labor Economics Vol. 31, No. 4 (October 2013), pp. 727-761
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15655
    Note: CH ED LS PE
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    1. David H. Autor & William R. Kerr & Adriana D. Kugler, 2007. "Does Employment Protection Reduce Productivity? Evidence From US States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 189-217, 06.
    2. Autor, David & Kerr, William & Kugler, Adriana, 2007. "Do Employment Protections Reduce Productivity? Evidence from U.S. States," IZA Discussion Papers 2571, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Robert C. Bird & John D. Knopf, 2009. "Do Wrongful-Discharge Laws Impair Firm Performance?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 197-222, 05.
    4. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 3260, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Randy A. Ehrenberg & Daniel I. Rees & REric L. Ehrenberg, 1991. "School District Leave Policies, Teacher Absenteeism, and Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 72-105.
    6. Thomas K. Bauer & Stefan Bender & Holger Bonin, 2007. "Dismissal Protection and Worker Flows in Small Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 804-821, November.
    7. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Bradley, Steve & Green, Colin & Leeves, Gareth, 2007. "Worker absence and shirking: Evidence from matched teacher-school data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-334, June.
    10. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Job security, employment and wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 851-879, June.
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