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Teacher Labor Market Equilibrium and Student Achievement

We study whether reallocating existing teachers across schools within a district can increase student achievement, and what policies would help achieve these gains. Using a model of multidimensional value-added, we find meaningful achievement gains from reallocating teachers within a district. Using an estimated equilibrium model of the teacher labor market, we find that achieving most of these gains requires directly affecting teachers’ preferences over schools. In contrast, directly affecting principals’ selection of teachers can lower student achievement. Our analysis highlights the importance of equilibrium and second-best reasoning in analyzing teacher labor market policies.

Michael Bates
Michael Dinerstein
Andrew C. Johnston
Isaac Sorkin
Publication Date
January, 2022