Does Raising the School Leaving Age Reduce Teacher Effort? Evidence from a Policy Experiment

13 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012

See all articles by Colin P. Green

Colin P. Green

Department of Economics

Maria Navarro

Lancaster University - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2012

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of an increase in the compulsory school leaving age on a measure of high school teachers' effort. Differences‐in‐Differences estimates using count data methods demonstrate that the policy led to teachers increasing their hours of sickness absence by roughly 15%. This result implies that raising the compulsory school leaving age reduces teaching inputs, and hence schooling quality. A policy implication is that these laws should be coupled with measures to compensate teachers for the additional disutility. This also suggests that instrumental variable estimates of returns to education that utilize these changes for identification may be downwardly biased.

JEL Classification: J22, J38

Suggested Citation

Green, Colin P. and Navarro, Maria, Does Raising the School Leaving Age Reduce Teacher Effort? Evidence from a Policy Experiment (October 2012). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 50, Issue 4, pp. 1018-1030, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2157844 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2011.00386.x

Colin P. Green

Department of Economics ( email )

Høgskoleringen
Trondheim NO-7491, 7491
Norway

Maria Navarro

Lancaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lancaster University Management School
LA1 4YX

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