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The effect of wage compression and alternative labor market opportunities on teacher quality in Venezuela

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  • Ortega, Daniel E.
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the effect of teacher relative wages and teacher wage dispersion on high school graduates' preferences for teaching majors in College. This approximation to teacher quality is appropriate in a country like Venezuela as opposed to the US since the rigidity of the tertiary school system significantly limits mobility between majors. I combine data from the national college entrance examination from 1984 to 2003 with labor market data from the household surveys to construct a panel of data for quintiles of the test score distribution and age groups by states. The results suggest that teacher wage premia and wage dispersion have little effect on the quality mix of applicants to teaching. Most students' preference for teaching is unresponsive to wage levels relative to other occupations and to wage growth prospects within teaching. If wages have a positive effect on the performance of educational systems, this paper argues that it is unlikely to be through the selection of the most talented individuals.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 760-771

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:5:p:760-771

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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    Keywords: Occupational choice Teacher salaries Salary wage differentials Venezuela;

    References

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    1. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. Florian Hoffmann & Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Professor Qualities and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 12596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sean P. Corcoran & William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 2004. "Changing Labor-Market Opportunities for Women and the Quality of Teachers, 1957-2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 230-235, May.
    4. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," NBER Working Papers 5708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hanushek, Eric A. & Pace, Richard R., 1995. "Who chooses to teach (and why)?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 101-117, June.
    6. Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "The Long Run Importance of School Quality," NBER Working Papers 9071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Caroline M. Hoxby & Andrew Leigh, 2004. "Pulled Away or Pushed Out? Explaining the Decline of Teacher Aptitude in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 236-240, May.
    8. Susanna Loeb & Marianne E. Page, 2000. "Examining The Link Between Teacher Wages And Student Outcomes: The Importance Of Alternative Labor Market Opportunities And Non-Pecuniary Variation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, August.
    9. Podgursky, Michael & Monroe, Ryan & Watson, Donald, 2004. "The academic quality of public school teachers: an analysis of entry and exit behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 507-518, October.
    10. Menezes-Filho, Naercio & Pazello, Elaine, 2007. "Do teachers' wages matter for proficiency? Evidence from a funding reform in Brazil," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 660-672, December.
    11. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    12. Emiliana Vegas & Jenny Petrow, 2008. "Raising Student Learning in Latin America : The Challenge for the Twenty-First Century," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6802, July.
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