New Evidence on Teacher Labor Supply
New Evidence on Teacher Labor Supply
Published in:
American Educational Research Journal
February 2014
vol. 51 no. 1

Mimi Engel, Vanderbilt University
Brian A. Jacob, University of Michigan
F. Chris Curran, Vanderbilt University


Recent evidence on the large variance in teacher effectiveness has spurred interest in teacher labor markets. Research documents that better qualified teachers typically work in more advantaged schools but cannot determine the relative importance of supply versus demand. To isolate teacher preferences, we document which schools prospective teachers interviewed at during job fairs in Chicago. We find substantial variation in the number of applicants per school, ranging from under five to over 300. Schools serving more advantaged students have more applicants per vacancy, on average, and teacher preferences vary systematically by their own demographic characteristics. School geographic location is highly predictive of applications, even after controlling for distance from applicants’ home addresses and a host of school and neighborhood characteristics.

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