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Absence, Substitutability and Productivity. Evidence from Teachers

April 19, 201712:00 pm1:30 pm


It’s not unusual for employees to miss work from time to time. Little is known, however, about how worker absences affect productivity, and how employers cope with absenteeism. We do know that in schools, disruption can be especially harmful. IRLE Visiting Scholar Asma Benhenda will present research, based on administrative data on French teachers and substitute teachers, analyzing the effect of teacher absences on the productivity of classrooms and the quality of instruction. Benhenda’s work shows that temporary teachers come with a severe reduction in quality. Since substitute and contract teachers are more common in disadvantaged schools, this could be a source of inequality among students.

Read more about Asma.

Asma Benhenda is a Ph.D. student at the Paris School of Economics and a visiting scholar at IRLE, where her work focuses on education. In addition to her scholarly work, she has written for Le Monde and other general-interest publications.