Essays in education and family economics

University dissertation from Uppsala : Department of Economics

Abstract: Paper 1: This paper examines the determinants of teacher turnover using matched employee-employer panel data from Swedish lower and upper secondary schools in a market-oriented institutional environment with a growing private sector and individually negotiated wages. I find statistically significant and robust negative correlations between mobility and monetary compensations. Unlike previous research, I do not find robust evidence that share of minorities correlates positively with turnover. The positive association exists; however, in the case of private and upper secondary institutions. Paper 2: This paper examines the job mobility of teachers with different skills using matched employer-employee data from Swedish secondary schools. In addition to standard quality measures, I have access to population-wide data on cognitive and non-cognitive assessments of males born in 1951 or later. The results show that high-quality teachers are less mobile than others, and that there is no significant correlation between turnover and share of minority students. Interestingly, teachers with better skills are less likely to leave the profession, which suggests that the documented drop in the quality of inflowing teachers may partly be offset by a higher tendency for high quality teachers to stay in the profession.Paper 3: This paper examines teachers’ mobility in response to exogenous changes in the credentials of their students using data from Stockholm high schools. I explore a major admission reform that lead to the reshuffling of students between schools within the municipality of Stockholm. The results show that a 10-percentile-point increase in student quality decreases the probability of a separation by up to 9 percentage points. These effects are very similar across all types of teachers and are found mainly for mobility between schools rather than out of the profession. They are also present only in the lower half of the student quality distribution. Teachers react mostly to direct measures of student quality (grades from compulsory school) rather than to other characteristics that are correlated with student quality (immigrant status, parental income, paternal cognitive skills). Finally, I do not find any significant effects of changes in student quality on individual teacher’s earnings or school hiring policies.Paper 4: We examine the effects of child’s gender on family expenditure patterns using data from the Polish Household Budget Survey 2003-2010. A first-born daughter compared to first-born son increases overall and child related spending on clothing. At the same time, it decreases spending on games and toys as well as, at the intensive margin, early inputs into human capital production function measured as pre-kindergarten and kindergarten expenditure. We show that these findings are not driven by effects of child gender on maternal labor supply and are unlikely to be driven by the negative effects of first-born girl on fertility decisions or marital stability. Our findings suggest that child gender leads to differential expenditure patterns, which in turn might lead to early assignment of social roles.Paper 5: We estimate the effect of family size on female labour supply using data from the Polish Household Budget Survey, and instrumenting for family size with twinning at first and second birth. We identify a positive bias of OLS in the estimates of maternal labour supply on family size among highly educated and older mothers, and those who had their first child born after the age of 26. This unusual and counterintuitive result confirms the importance of accounting for heterogeneous treatment effects in the analysis of the relationship between labour market and family outcomes. Furthermore, among families with at least one child we identify the total average causal effect of an additional child on mother’s employment to be -6.7 pp. We find no significant effects of having additional children on female employment among families with two or more kids.

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