Teacher Labor Markets and Student Achievement
Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PDT)
- Chair: Seth Gershenson, American University
The Effects of Differential Pay on Teacher Recruitment and Retention
AbstractTraditionally, teacher salaries have been determined solely by experience and educational attainment. Given variation in the opportunity cost of teachers and in the non-pecuniary characteristics of jobs, the fixed salary schedules have led to chronic shortages of teachers in particular subject areas, such as math, science and special education. An obvious solution would be to raise the wages of math, science and special education teachers relative to the wages of other teachers. Little is known, however, about the impact differential pay would have on the supply of new teachers and the retention of existing teachers. We study the first long-running statewide program to differentiate teacher pay based on subject area, Georgia's bonus system for math and science teachers. The program began in 2010/11school year and covers teachers who are certified and teaching math or science in grades 6-12 and have less than six years of teaching experience. We exploit the variation in program coverage over time as well as the multiple eligibility criteria to estimate difference-in-differences models of teacher retention and teacher qualifications. Our analysis sample includes the universe of public school teachers and students in Georgia for the years 2006/07 through 2014/15. Individual-level teacher and student data come from Georgia's new longitudinal database, GAAWARDS. We find the bonuses reduce teacher attrition by 18 to 28 percent. However, we find no evidence the program increases the probability that education majors become secondary math or science teachers upon graduation or alters specific major choices within the education field.
The Effects of Localized Mass Layoffs on Academic Achievement Gaps
AbstractWe examine effects of localized mass layoffs on black and Hispanic youth relative to white youth using job loss data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and test score data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress for the years 1996-2011. A consensus now exists that business layoffs and closings can be viewed as exogenous shocks to workers and communities when conditioning on prior characteristics and that effects on workers and communities subsequent to layoffs and closings can therefore be interpreted as causal effects of job loss. We find that job losses to 1% of the working-age population decrease eighth-grade math scores by .084 and .072 standard deviations for black and Hispanic students respectively. White students' test scores decrease by 0.041 standard deviations. Aggregate effects on these students are comparable to (though in the opposite direction from) effects of policy interventions, such as Tennessee STAR, that have generated enormous policy interest. The magnitude of these effects suggests that costs to students from downturns are a relevant consideration, along with other costs of recessions, for policymakers considering the causes of racial academic achievement gaps. Our results suggest that the disparate effects of localized economic downturns can explain about 7% of the SES-adjusted black-white math achievement gap among 8th graders.
The Short- and Long-Run Impacts of Secondary School Absences
- J4 - Particular Labor Markets