Teacher Pensions

This research focuses on how different retirement systems might shape the teacher workforce. We are investigating this relationship by examining a natural experiment in Washington State in which, over different time periods, the state offered teachers a choice between a traditional defined benefit (DB) retirement plan and a hybrid retirement plan that combines a DB component with a defined contribution (DC) component.  The question at issue is whether different types of teachers prefer one plan structure over the other, and whether these preferences have implications for the quality of the teacher workforce.

We have access to detailed data on teacher retirement choices as well as data that allows us to link teachers to students over time.  This allows what we believe will be the first quantitative study that looks directly at the workforce implications of teacher choices about retirement plans.

For more information and recent results, see the following publications:

Goldhaber, D. and Grout, C. (2014). Which Plan to Choose? The Determinants of Pension System Choice for Public School Teachers. CEDR Working Paper 2014-1. University of Washington, Seattle, WA.pdf

Goldhaber, D. and Grout, C. (2013). The Choice is Yours: How Pension System Decisions Might Shape the Teacher Workforce. CEDR Working Paper 2013-3. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. pdf

Goldhaber, D., Grout, C., Pennucci, A., & Bignell, W. (2012) Teacher Pension Choice: Surveying the Landscape in Washington State. CEDR Working Paper 2012-8. University of Washington, Seattle, WA.pdf