The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 171–179 | Cite as

Are Better Teachers More Likely To Move? Examining Teacher Mobility In Rural China

  • Yi Wei
  • Sen ZhouEmail author
Regular Article


This study investigates an understudied but crucial issue in education in rural China: teacher mobility. Using school- and teacher-level data from primary and middle schools in Gansu province in western China, this study examines how school and teacher characteristics relate to teacher mobility. The school-level analysis shows that school location was the most consistent factor associated with teacher turnover. The association between higher wages and lower teacher turnover diminished as district and wave fixed effects were included. The probability of teacher turnover was higher for teachers with higher professional ranks and teachers who were initially assigned to schools away from home. We also found that failing the annual teacher evaluation increased the probability of leaving the school the following year, suggesting that teacher transfer might also be used to punish lower-performing teachers.


Teacher mobility Teacher quality Survival analysis Rural China 



This research did not receive any specific grants from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. The authors would like to thank Emily Hannum from the University of Pennsylvania for granting the access to GSCF data sets. The authors would also like to thank Amita Chudgar, Lynn Paine, Peter Youngs, and David Arsen from the Michigan State University for their critical feedback and informative participation.

Supplementary material

40299_2018_423_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)
40299_2018_423_MOESM2_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© De La Salle University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.China Institute for Educational Finance ResearchPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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