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Constrained Job Matching: Does Teacher Job Search Harm Disadvantaged Urban Schools?

  • Eric A. Hanushek
  • Steven G. Rivkin

Search theory suggests that early career job changes on balance lead to better matches that benefit both workers and firms, but this may not hold in teacher labor markets characterized by salary rigidities, barriers to entry, and substantial differences in working conditions that are difficult for institutions to alter. Of particular concern to education policy makers is the possibility that teacher turnover adversely affects the quality of instruction in schools serving predominantly disadvantaged children. Although such schools experience higher turnover on average than others, the impact on the quality of instruction depends crucially on whether it is the more productive teachers who are more likely to depart. The absence of direct measures of productivity typically hinders efforts to measure the effect of turnover on worker quality. In the case of teachers, however, the availability of matched panel data of students and teachers, enables the isolation of the contributions of teachers to achievement despite the complications of purposeful choices of families, teachers, and administrators. The empirical analysis reveals that teachers who remain in their school tend to outperform those who leave, particularly those who exit the Texas public schools entirely. Moreover, this gap appears to be larger for schools serving predominantly low income students, evidence that high turnover is not nearly as damaging as many suggest.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15816.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15816
Note: CH ED LS PE
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  1. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2002. "Teachers and student achievement in the Chicago public high schools," Working Paper Series WP-02-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Why Public Schools Lose Teachers," NBER Working Papers 8599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kane, Thomas J. & Rockoff, Jonah E. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2008. "What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 615-631, December.
  4. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "Generalizations about Using Value-Added Measures of Teacher Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 267-71, May.
  5. Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Daniel M. O'Brien & Steven G. Rivkin, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," NBER Working Papers 11154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2002. "An Analysis of Occupational Change and Departure from the Labor Force: Evidence of the Reasons that Teachers Leave," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 192-216.
  8. Hanushek, Eric, 1971. "Teacher Characteristics and Gains in Student Achievement: Estimation Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 280-88, May.
  9. Donald Boyd & Pamela Grossman & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2006. "How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(2), pages 176-216, April.
  10. Scafidi, Benjamin & Sjoquist, David L. & Stinebrickner, Todd R., 2007. "Race, poverty, and teacher mobility," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 145-159, April.
  11. Dale Ballou & Michael Podgursky, 2002. "Returns to Seniority among Public School Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 892-912.
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  13. 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.
  14. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 11936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  16. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
  17. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-60, December.
  18. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Richard J. Murnane Barbara R. Phillips, 1981. "What Do Effective Teachers of Inner-City Children have in Common?," Mathematica Policy Research Reports b0614b2fa4ae4eae82cec19fb, Mathematica Policy Research.
  20. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren & David Sims, 2008. "The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains," NBER Working Papers 14065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "The draw of home: How teachers' preferences for proximity disadvantage urban schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 113-132.
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