Teacher attrition: Human capital and terms of employment – Do they matter?

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Abstract

Addressing Sorensen and Tuma's resource–reward theory, we explored teacher attrition from an economic perspective. The study aimed to explore the extent to which teachers' resources and terms of employment correlate with attrition behavior. In a sample of 10,340 Israeli K-12 teachers it was found that many beginning teachers who left the profession were relatively highly educated. Although the literature stresses teachers’ intrinsic motivation for choosing their career, the findings, in line with earlier empirical studies, suggest that job rewards do play an important role in teachers' career decisions. Moreover, the current findings suggest that at lower salary levels, the rewards-attrition association differs by teacher higher-education level. That is, the attrition rates of highly-educated teachers drop more sharply as salary increases, as expected by the theory. Some explanations and policy recommendations are made.

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How to Cite
Arviv Elyashiv, R., & Navon, Y. (2021). Teacher attrition: Human capital and terms of employment – Do they matter?. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(January - July), 76. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.29.5965
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Author Biographies

Rinat Arviv Elyashiv, Kibbutzim College of Education

Dr. Rinat Arviv Elyashiv serves as the Director of the Research Authority in Kibbutzim College of Education. Her studies focus on educational policy, teacher career, teacher professional development and social inequality. She participats in international partnerships to promote teachers' professional identity and development.

Yael Navon, Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel

Dr. Yael Navon is a researcher in the Taub Center Initiative on Early Childhood Development and Inequality. Yael completed her second and third degrees in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and her first degree in economics and philosophy, from Tel Aviv University. Her doctorate, under the supervision of Prof. Yossi Shavit, dealt with the relationship between sibling characteristics and academic achievement of children in Israel.