Local Labor Market Conditions, Principals’ Leadership, Conscientiousness, and Beginning Teacher Turnover: A Study During the Great Recession

40 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2019

See all articles by Dillon Fuchsman

Dillon Fuchsman

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform

Gema Zamarro

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform; Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Date Written: January 25, 2019

Abstract

An abundance of literature sheds light on which factors determine teacher turnover, but it has yet to consider the role that local labor market conditions may play in teachers’ turnover decisions and how these labor market conditions may influence the quality of teachers who might be retained. The effect of local labor market conditions on teacher turnover could be relevant especially in times of high economic instability like the Great Recession. To study the determinants of teacher turnover, we match the Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study (BTLS) with local unemployment rates from the USC Great Recession Indicators Database (GRID). We also build proxy measures of teachers’ conscientiousness with levels of survey effort on the baseline BTLS survey. Our results show that, in the absence of changes in unemployment, teachers who present lower levels of conscientiousness, by means of lower effort in the baseline survey, also present lower probabilities of teacher turnover during their first years of teaching.

However, higher conscientious teachers seem to be better retained when there is more instability in their local labor markets. Higher quality principals appear to help retain teachers, but they seem to be more effective at retaining those teachers who show lower levels of conscientiousness on their baseline survey.

Keywords: teacher turnover, Great Recession, non-cognitive skills, local labor markets

JEL Classification: I20, J83, C83

Suggested Citation

Fuchsman, Dillon and Zamarro, Gema, Local Labor Market Conditions, Principals’ Leadership, Conscientiousness, and Beginning Teacher Turnover: A Study During the Great Recession (January 25, 2019). EDRE Working Paper No. 2019-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3322023 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3322023

Dillon Fuchsman (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Gema Zamarro

University of Arkansas - Department of Education Reform ( email )

201 Graduate Education Building
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

HOME PAGE: http://works.bepress.com/gema_zamarro/

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