School accountability and teacher mobility

Li Feng, David N. Figlio, Tim Sass

NBER Working Paper No. 16070
Issued in June 2010
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED

This paper presents the first causal evidence on the effects of school accountability systems on teacher labor markets. We exploit a 2002 change in Florida's school accountability system that exogenously shocked some schools to higher accountability grades and others to lower accountability grades, and measure whether teachers in shocked schools are more or less likely to move. Using microdata from the universe of Florida public school teachers, we find strong evidence that accountability shocks influence the teacher labor market; specifically, teachers are more likely to leave schools that have been downward shocked -- especially to the bottom grade -- and they are less likely to leave schools that have been upward shocked. We also find that accountability shocks influence the distribution of the measured quality of teachers (in terms of value added measures) who stay and leave their school, though the average differences are not large.

download in pdf format
   (268 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the October 2010 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

This paper is available as PDF (268 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16070

Published: "School Accountability" (with Susanna Loeb) in E. Hanushek, S. Machin, and L. Woessmann, eds., Handbook of Economics of Education , volume 3, Elsevier, 2011.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Boyd, Grossman, Lankford, Loeb, and Wyckoff w14022 Who Leaves? Teacher Attrition and Student Achievement
Rouse, Hannaway, Goldhaber, and Figlio w13681 Feeling the Florida Heat? How Low-Performing Schools Respond to Voucher and Accountability Pressure
Corcoran and Evans w16097 Income Inequality, the Median Voter, and the Support for Public Education
Rockoff and Turner w14564 Short Run Impacts of Accountability on School Quality
Figlio and Hart w16056 Competitive Effects of Means-Tested School Vouchers
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us