We analyze late-career teacher turnover induced by pension incentives. Using longitudinal data with performance measures for Tennessee public school teachers, we find higher quality teachers are less likely to retire conditional on age and experience. To quantify the effects of pension incentives, we estimate a structural model for retirement and find that high quality teachers have a lower disutility for teaching relative to retirement.
Spurred by the federal Race to the Top competition, the state of Tennessee implemented a comprehensive statewide educator evaluation system in 2011. The new system is designed to increase the rigor of evaluations and better differentiate teachers based on performance. The use of more differentiated ratings represents a significant shift in education policy. We merge teacher performance evaluations from the new system with data from post-evaluation teacher surveys to examine the effects of the differentiated ratings on job satisfaction for teachers.
We study how the introduction of a rigorous teacher evaluation system in a large urban school district affects the quality composition of teacher turnovers. With the implementation of the new system, we document increased turnover among the least effective teachers and decreased turnover among the most effective teachers, relative to teachers in the middle of the distribution. Our findings demonstrate that the alignment between personnel decisions and teacher effectiveness can be improved through targeted personnel policies.
Most public school teachers in the United States are enrolled in defined benefit (DB) pension plans. Using administrative micro data from four states, combined with national pension funding data, we show these plans have accumulated substantial unfunded liabilities – effectively debt – owing to previous plan operations. On average across 49 state plans, an amount that exceeds 10 percent of current teachers’ earnings is being set aside to pay for previously-accrued pension liabilities.