ERIC Number: EJ762749
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Understanding the Level and Causes of Teacher Turnover: A Comparison with Other Professions
Harris, Douglas N.; Adams, Scott J.
Economics of Education Review, v26 n3 p325-337 Jun 2007
It is commonly believed that teacher turnover is unusually high and that this is a sign of failure in the education system. Previous studies have tested this idea by comparing teacher turnover with that of similar professions, but have come to contradictory conclusions. We provide additional evidence by comparing teachers with professionals from other fields that are arguably comparable, namely nurses, social workers, and accountants. Using data from the Current Population Survey, the results suggest that the average rate of teacher turnover is not significantly higher than these professions, even after controlling for other measured differences among them. Where teacher turnover differs most from other professions is in the greater prevalence of turnover among older workers, likely reflecting earlier retirement. We find some evidence that the relatively high ratio of pensions-to-salaries in teaching partially explains this behavior. Other factors affecting turnover are also studied.
Descriptors: Faculty Mobility, Teacher Persistence, Social Work, Nurses, Older Workers, Labor Turnover, Teaching Conditions, Comparative Analysis, Accounting, Age Differences, Teacher Retirement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Cited: ED529806; ED560730