Through the Labor Market Looking Glass: An Inquiry into Principal-Teacher Race Congruence

WCER Working Paper No. 2018-13

Peter Goff, Yasmin Rodriguez-Escutia, and Minseok Yang

October 2018, 26 pp.

ABSTRACT: Representative bureaucracy suggests that supervisors are representative of their employees based, in part, on shared values and identity. In education, we often observe representative asymmetries among school principals and the teaching faculty, particularly by race. This study explores the ways in which race congruence between teachers and principals relates to key labor market behaviors, in particular, job searching, changing, applying, and hiring. Using an unprecedented and large-scale vacancy-application database coupled with administrative staffing records in Wisconsin, this study demonstrates that representative bureaucracy based on race operates at the stages of job searching and applying. The congruence effect is only notable for Minoritized teachers at the hiring stage, while White teachers show a greater effect when changing positions. Comparing the differences in marginal probabilities by racial combinations, we conclude race congruence effects are greatest for the Minoritized teachers.

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keywords: Representative bureaucracy, race congruence, labor market behaviors.