The Labor Market for Teachers Under Different Pay Schemes

95 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2017 Last revised: 5 Aug 2018

See all articles by Barbara Biasi

Barbara Biasi

Yale School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: July 7, 2018


Compensation of most US public school teachers is rigid and solely based on seniority. This paper studies a 2011 reform that gave school districts in Wisconsin full autonomy to redesign teacher pay schemes. I show that, following the reform, some districts switched to flexible compensation and started paying high-quality teachers more. Teacher quality increased in these districts relative to those with seniority pay, due to a change in workforce composition and an increase in effort. I estimate a structural model of this labor market to investigate the effects of alternative pay schemes on the composition of the teaching workforce.

Keywords: Teachers, Salaries, Pay-for-performance, Job Mobility, Unions, Teacher Selection, Teacher Retention

JEL Classification: I20, J31, J45, J51, J61, J63

Suggested Citation

Biasi, Barbara, The Labor Market for Teachers Under Different Pay Schemes (July 7, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Barbara Biasi (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management ( email )

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New Haven, CT 06520-8200
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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