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

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  • Eric A. Hanushek
  • Steven G. Rivkin

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "Constrained Job Matching: Does Teacher Job Search Harm Disadvantaged Urban Schools?," NBER Working Papers 15816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15816
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew Ronfeldt & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2011. "How Teacher Turnover Harms Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 17176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Tanaka, Ryuichi & Bessho, Shun-ichiro & Kawamura, Akira & Noguchi, Haruko & Ushijima, Koichi, 2020. "Determinants of Teacher Value-Added in Public Primary Schools: Evidence from Administrative Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 13146, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Goldhaber, Dan & Cowan, James & Walch, Joe, 2013. "Is a good elementary teacher always good? Assessing teacher performance estimates across subjects," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 216-228.
    4. Joao Firmino & Luis Catela Nunes & Ana Balcao Reis & Carmo Seabra, 2018. "Class composition and student achievement: evidence from Portugal," Nova SBE Working Paper Series wp624, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Nova School of Business and Economics.
    5. Stephen Gibbons & Vincenzo Scrutinio & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2018. "Teacher turnover: does it matter for pupil achievement?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1530, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. Chingos, Matthew M. & West, Martin R., 2011. "Promotion and reassignment in public school districts: How do schools respond to differences in teacher effectiveness?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 419-433, June.
    7. Steven Glazerman & Jeffrey Max, "undated". "Do Low-Income Students have Equal Access to the Highest-Performing Teachers? (Technical Appendix)," Mathematica Policy Research Reports ff5f30f9718f4bcd824b02893, Mathematica Policy Research.
    8. Gibbons, Stephen & Scrutinio, Vincenzo & Telhaj, Shqiponja, 2021. "Teacher turnover: effects, mechanisms and organisational responses," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 112723, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Gibbons, Stephen & Scrutinio, Vincenzo & Telhaj, Shqiponja, 2021. "Teacher turnover: Effects, mechanisms and organisational responses," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    10. Stephen Gibbons & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2016. "Peer Effects: Evidence from Secondary School Transition in England," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(4), pages 548-575, August.
    11. Marchand, Joseph & Weber, Jeremy, 2017. "The Local Effects of the Texas Shale Boom on Schools, Students, and Teachers," Working Papers 2017-12, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2019.
    12. Steele, Jennifer L. & Pepper, Matthew J. & Springer, Matthew G. & Lockwood, J.R., 2015. "The distribution and mobility of effective teachers: Evidence from a large, urban school district," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 86-101.
    13. Allison Atteberry & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2013. "Do First Impressions Matter? Improvement in Early Career Teacher Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 19096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Barbieri, Gianna & Rossetti, Claudio & Sestito, Paolo, 2011. "The determinants of teacher mobility: Evidence using Italian teachers’ transfer applications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1430-1444.
    15. João Firmino, 2018. "Class composition effects and school welfare: evidence from Portugal using panel data," Working Papers 2018/14, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    16. Li Feng & Tim R. Sass, 2017. "Teacher Quality and Teacher Mobility," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(3), pages 396-418, Summer.
    17. Eric Isenberg & Jeffrey Max & Philip Gleason & Matthew Johnson & Jonah Deutsch & Michael Hansen, "undated". "Do Low-Income Students Have Equal Access to Effective Teachers? Evidence from 26 Districts (Final Report)," Mathematica Policy Research Reports ce9ae6b49ff34e388113f31ca, Mathematica Policy Research.
    18. Jonathan M.V. Davis, 2017. "The Short and Long Run Impacts of Centralized Clearinghouses: Evidence from Matching Teach For America Teachers to Schools," 2017 Papers pda791, Job Market Papers.
    19. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "The Quality and Distribution of Teachers under the No Child Left Behind Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 133-150, Summer.
    20. Tian, Zhilei & Wei, Yi & Li, Fang, 2019. "Who are better teachers? The effects of tenure-track and part-time faculty on student achievement," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 140-151.
    21. Hanushek, Eric A., 2011. "The economic value of higher teacher quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 466-479, June.
    22. Erin Dillon & Steven Malick, "undated". "Teacher Turnover and Access to Effective Teachers in the School District of Philadelphia," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 700eafe8d79f4e6da94c86be5, Mathematica Policy Research.
    23. Marine de Talancé, 2015. "Better Teachers, Better Results? Evidence from Rural Pakistan," Working Papers DT/2015/21, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    24. repec:mpr:mprres:6956 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. 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 267-271, May.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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