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What Kind of Teachers Are Schools Looking For? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment


Teacher quality is a pressing public policy concern, yet there is little evidence on what types of teachers schools actually prefer to hire. This paper reports the results of an experiment that involved sending schools fictitious resumes with randomly-chosen characteristics in an attempt to determine what characteristics schools value when hiring new teachers. The results of the study suggest that an applicant’s academic background has little impact on the likelihood of success at private and charter schools, although public schools respond more favorably to candidates from more selective colleges. Additionally, private schools demonstrate a slight preference for female candidates, and all three sectors demonstrate a preference for in-state candidates.

Keywords: resume audit studies, teacher labor markets.

JEL Classification: I21, J45.


Suggested citation: Hinrichs, Peter, 2014. “What Kind of Teachers Are Schools Looking For? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper, no 14-36.

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