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The Role of Teacher Quality in Retention and Hiring: Using Applications-to-Transfer to Uncover Preferences of Teachers and Schools

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  • Donald Boyd
  • Hamilton Lankford
  • Susanna Loeb
  • Matthew Ronfeldt
  • James Wyckoff

Abstract

Many large urban school districts are rethinking their personnel management strategies, often giving increased control to schools in the hiring of teachers, reducing, for example, the importance of seniority. If school hiring authorities are able to make good decisions about whom to hire, these reforms have the potential to benefit schools and students. Prior research on teacher transfers uses career history data, identifying the school in which a teacher teaches in each year. When this data is used to see which teachers transfer, it is unclear the extent to which the patterns are driven by teacher preferences or school preferences, since the matching of teachers to schools is a two-sided choice. This study uses applications-to-transfer data to examine separately which teachers apply for transfer and which get hired and, in so doing, differentiates teacher from school preferences. Holding all else equal, we find that teachers with better pre-service qualifications (certification exam scores; college competitiveness) are more likely to apply for transfer, while teachers whose students demonstrate higher achievement growth are less likely. On the other hand, schools prefer to hire "higher quality" teachers across measures that signal quality. The results suggest not only that more effective teachers prefer to stay in their school, but that when given the opportunity schools are able to identify and hire the best candidates.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & Matthew Ronfeldt & James Wyckoff, 2010. "The Role of Teacher Quality in Retention and Hiring: Using Applications-to-Transfer to Uncover Preferences of Teachers and Schools," NBER Working Papers 15966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15966
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
    2. 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).
    3. Pam Grossman & Susanna Loeb & Julia Cohen & Karen Hammerness & James Wyckoff & Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford, 2010. "Measure for Measure: The relationship between measures of instructional practice in middle school English Language Arts and teachers' value-added scores," NBER Working Papers 16015, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2003. "Analyzing the Determinants of the Matching Public School Teachers to Jobs: Estimating Compensating Differentials in Imperfect Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 9878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. Thomas S. Dee, 2004. "Teachers, Race, and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 195-210, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "Explaining the Short Careers of High-Achieving Teachers in Schools with Low-Performing Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 166-171, May.
    9. Li Feng, 2009. "Opportunity Wages, Classroom Characteristics, and Teacher Mobility," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1165-1190, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cowen, Joshua M. & Butler, J.S. & Fowles, Jacob & Streams, Megan E. & Toma, Eugenia F., 2012. "Teacher retention in Appalachian schools: Evidence from Kentucky," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 431-441.
    2. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2013. "Analyzing the Determinants of the Matching of Public School Teachers to Jobs: Disentangling the Preferences of Teachers and Employers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 83-117.
    3. Dan Goldhaber & Cyrus Grout & Nick Huntington-Klein, 2017. "Screen Twice, Cut Once: Assessing the Predictive Validity of Applicant Selection Tools," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(2), pages 197-223, Spring.
    4. Hinrichs, Peter, 2014. "What Kind of Teachers Are Schools Looking For? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," Working Paper 1436, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    5. Susanna Loeb & Demetra Kalogrides & Tara Béteille, 2011. "Effective Schools: Teacher Hiring, Assignment, Development, and Retention," NBER Working Papers 17177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kevin C. Bastian & Gary T. Henry & Charles L. Thompson, 2013. "Incorporating Access to More Effective Teachers into Assessments of Educational Resource Equity," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 560-580, October.
    7. Sonja Fagernäs & Panu Pelkonen, 2012. "Preferences and skills of Indian public sector teachers," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-31, December.
    8. Thomas S. Dee & James Wyckoff, 2015. "Incentives, Selection, and Teacher Performance: Evidence from IMPACT," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(2), pages 267-297, March.
    9. Melinda Adnot & Thomas Dee & Veronica Katz & James Wyckoff, 2016. "Teacher Turnover, Teacher Quality, and Student Achievement in DCPS," NBER Working Papers 21922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Ali Protik & Steven Glazerman & Julie Bruch & Bing-ru Teh, 2015. "Staffing a Low-Performing School: Behavioral Responses to Selective Teacher Transfer Incentives," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(4), pages 573-610, October.
    12. Gentile, Elisabetta & Imberman, Scott A., 2012. "Dressed for success? The effect of school uniforms on student achievement and behavior," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-17.
    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. repec:mpr:mprres:7996 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Karbownik, Krzysztof, 2014. "The determinants of teacher mobility in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2014:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    16. Gjefsen, Hege Marie & Gunnes, Trude, 2016. "The effects of School Accountability on Teacher Mobility and Teacher Sorting," MPRA Paper 69664, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. 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.
    18. Goldhaber, Dan & Krieg, John & Theobald, Roddy, 2014. "Knocking on the door to the teaching profession? Modeling the entry of prospective teachers into the workforce," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 106-124.
    19. Hege Marie Gjefsen & Trude Gunnes, 2015. "School accountability Incentives or sorting?," Discussion Papers 815, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    20. Bonhomme, Stéphane & Jolivet, Grégory & Leuven, Edwin, 2012. "Job Characteristics and Labor Turnover: Assessing the Role of Preferences and Opportunities in Teacher Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 8841, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Brian Jacob & Jonah E. Rockoff & Eric S. Taylor & Benjamin Lindy & Rachel Rosen, 2016. "Teacher Applicant Hiring and Teacher Performance: Evidence from DC Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 22054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • J88 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Public Policy

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