Teacher Labor Markets

The quality of children’s schooling experiences has been closely linked to the quality of the individuals students receive as teachers.  Many local, state and federal policies are putting increased focus towards improving schools while the recent downturn has put the fiscal decisions of the public sector under close scrutiny.  Understanding how teachers make decisions about where to work and how long to work, particularly in response to their government provided wages and benefits, is therefore an imperative.  Fitzpatrick’s work has focused on whether public school employees value their retirement benefits at the same level it costs taxpayers to provide them.  She is investigating how incentives between state and local governments that arise implicitly in the structure of teacher compensation affect the pattern of teacher wages.  With colleagues, she has also examined how responsive teachers are to retirement incentives and what effect the removal of senior teachers has on children’s academic achievement.


Selected Publications

Fitzpatrick, Maria D. Forthcoming. “Pension Reform and Return to Work Policies” Journal of Pension Economics and Finance

Fitzpatrick, Maria D. 2018. “Teaching, Teachers Pensions and Retirement across Recent Cohorts of College Graduate Women.” Forthcoming in Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz (eds.) Women Working Longer: Increased Employment at Older Ages University of Chicago Press.

Fitzpatrick, Maria D. 2017. “Pension-spiking, free-riding, and the effects of pension reform on teachers’ earnings.” Journal of Public Economics. 148: 57-74.

Fitzpatrick, Maria D. 2015. “How Much Are Public School Teachers Willing to Pay for Their Retirement Benefits?” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. 7(4): 165-88.

Fitzpatrick, Maria D. and Michael Lovenheim. 2014. “How Does Teacher Retirement Affect Student Achievement?” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. 6(3): 120-154.

Fitzpatrick, Maria D. 2014. “Retiree Health Insurance for Public School Employees: Does it Affect Retirement?” Journal of Health Economics. 38: 88-98.