School District Leave Policies, Teacher Absenteeism, and Student Achievement

50 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2004 Last revised: 10 May 2021

See all articles by Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

ILR-Cornell University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Randy A. Ehrenberg

North Colonie Central Schools

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Eric L. Ehrenberg

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 1989

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Ehrenberg, Ronald G. and Ehrenberg, Randy A. and Rees, Daniel I. and Ehrenberg, Eric L., School District Leave Policies, Teacher Absenteeism, and Student Achievement (March 1989). NBER Working Paper No. w2874, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=236672

Ronald G. Ehrenberg (Contact Author)

ILR-Cornell University ( email )

Higher Education Research Institute
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Randy A. Ehrenberg

North Colonie Central Schools

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Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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United States

Eric L. Ehrenberg

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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