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Joint Labor Economics & School of Public Policy Workshop: Kevin Ng

Monday, October 18, 2021 at 11:15am to 12:45pm

Ives Hall, 116
B07 Tower Rd, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Kevin Ng, Cornell University—Ph.D. Candidate

The Effects of Teacher Tenure on Productivity and Selection

Abstract: This study examines the productivity and selection effects of K-12 teacher tenure by leveraging variation from New Jersey’s TEACHNJ Act. This law extended the pretenure period from three to four years and allowed districts to dismiss consistently low-performing teachers. I use multiple identification strategies to estimate the productivity effects of tenure across a teacher’s career. I evaluate the productivity effects at tenure receipt using a difference-in-differences design, which compares fourth-year tenured and pretenured teachers. At tenure receipt, math value-added declines but English language arts value-added and summative ratings remain unchanged. To estimate the productivity effects later in the career, I use a regression discontinuity design relying on discontinuities in job security around summative rating thresholds. Later in the career, tenure has no impact on productivity. Thus, tenure induces a transitory decline in math value-added without impacting other dimensions of teacher performance. Focusing on the labor market effects, I compare teachers hired before and after TEACHNJ within the same district and experience level. The TEACHNJ Act disproportionately increased male and Black teacher turnover rates. TEACHNJ did not impact the quality of the teacher labor market as measured by value-added, though higher rated teachers often filled new vacancies. Since the TEACHNJ Act only relies on summative ratings to make personnel decisions, this result aligns with a principal-agent model where only one of several measures of performance is used to evaluate the employee.

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Event Type

Seminar, Class/ Workshop




economics, EconSeminar, EconLabor, EconPAM

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Heather LaCombe

Contact Phone



Kevin Ng

Speaker Affiliation

Cornell University

Open To

Cornell Economics Community (List Serve Members)