NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED508249
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 58
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
Are Teacher Absences Worth Worrying about in the U.S.? Working Paper 24
Clotfelter, Charles T.; Ladd, Helen F.; Vigdor, Jacob L.
National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research
Using detailed data from North Carolina, this paper examines the frequency, incidence, and consequences of teacher absences in public schools, as well as the impact of a policy designed to reduce absences. The incidence of teacher absences is regressive: when schools are ranked by the fraction of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch, schools in the poorest quartile averaged almost one extra sick day per teacher than schools in the highest income quartile, and schools with persistently high rates of teacher absence were much more likely to serve low-income than high-income students. In regression models incorporating teacher fixed effects, absences are associated with lower student achievement in elementary grades. There is evidence that the demand for discretionary absences is price-elastic. Our estimates suggest that a policy intervention that simultaneously raised teacher base salaries and broadened financial penalties for absences could both raise teachers' expected income and lower districts' expected costs. (Contains 11 tables, 5 figures, and 37 footnotes.)
National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research. The Urban Institute, 2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-261-5739; Fax: 202-833-2477; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Urban Institute
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A060067; R305A060067