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Workload and teacher absence

, Department of Economics, United States ; , Department of Finance and Economics, United States

Economics of Education Review Volume 57, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


We investigate the determinants of teacher absences both within and across schools. We find that teachers generally respond to increased workload by decreasing their rate of absence. Teachers are less likely to be absent when they are teaching larger classes, have new grade assignments or have fewer years of experience. Moreover, we show that when teachers change schools, their absence rate quickly gravitates towards the mean absence rate of their new school, suggesting that school-level factors are an important determinant of absence rates. Finally, we show that the inverse relationship between workload and absence may lead researchers to underestimate the ceteris paribus effect of certain teacher inputs. We illustrate this point in the context of estimating the effect of teacher experience on test scores and show that controlling for absence rates increases the estimated returns to experience by approximately 10%.


Ost, B. & Schiman, J.C. (2017). Workload and teacher absence. Economics of Education Review, 57(1), 20-30. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved December 5, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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