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Public and Private Employer Learning: Evidence from the Adoption of Teacher Value Added

Michael Bates ()

Journal of Labor Economics, 2020, vol. 38, issue 2, 375 - 420

Abstract: Informational asymmetries between employers may inhibit optimal worker mobility. However, researchers rarely observe shocks to employers’ information. I exploit two school districts’ adoptions of value-added (VA) measures of teacher effectiveness—informational shocks to some, but not all, employers—to provide direct tests of asymmetric employer learning. I develop a learning model and test its predictions for teacher mobility. I find that adopting VA increases within-district mobility of high-VA teachers, while low-VA teachers move out of district to uninformed principals. These patterns are consistent with asymmetric employer learning. This sorting from widespread VA adoption exacerbates inequality in access to effective teaching.

Date: 2020
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