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School District Leave Policies, Teacher Absenteeism, and Student Achievement

  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg
  • Randy A. Ehrenberg
  • Daniel I. Rees
  • Eric L. Ehrenberg

In an effort to reduce salary costs, many school districts have begun to offer teachers financial incentives to retire early. Often, however, these districts have limits on the number of cumulated unused sick leave days that teachers may receive cash payments, credits toward future health insurance, or retirement credits for, at retirement. Thus, one might expect that in addition to stimulating early retirement, early retirement incentive programs may interact with sick leave provisions and provide an unintended incentive for increased teacher absenteeism. To the extent that less learning occurs when regular teachers are absent and student motivation to attend school is also reduced, student academic performance may suffer. This surely would be an unintended side effect of these policies. To address these issues, this paper, which is based on an extensive data collection effort by the authors, presents an econometric analyses of variations in teacher and student absenteeism across the over 700 school districts in New York State in 1986-87 and of how such variations influence student test score performance.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2874.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2874.

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Date of creation: Sep 1991
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Publication status: published as The Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 72-105, (Winter 1991).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2874
Note: LS
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  1. Stephen L. Jacobson, 1989. "The Effects of Pay Incentives on Teacher Absenteeism," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(2), pages 280-286.
  2. Summers, Anita A & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1977. "Do Schools Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 639-52, September.
  3. Levin, Henry M. & Tsang, Mun C., 1987. "The economics of student time," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 357-364, August.
  4. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Ronald A. Ehrenberg & Richard P. Chaykowski, 1988. "Determinants of the compensation and mobility of school superintendents," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 386-401, April.
  5. Steven G. Allen, 1983. "How Much Does Absenteeism Cost?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 379-393.
  6. Allen, Steven G, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Work Attendance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 77-87, February.
  7. Link, Charles R. & Mulligan, James G., 1986. "The merits of a longer school day," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 373-381, August.
  8. Chelius, James R., 1981. "Understanding absenteeism: The potential contribution of economic theory," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 409-418, December.
  9. Steven G. Allen, 1984. "Trade unions, absenteeism, and exit-voice," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(3), pages 331-345, April.
  10. Kiesling, Herbert J., 1984. "Assignment practices and the relationship of instructional time to the reading performance of elementary school children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 341-350, August.
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