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Do Alternative Opportunities Matter? The Role of Female Labor Markets in the Decline of Teacher Quality

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  • Marigee P. Bacolod

    (University of California, Irvine)

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    Abstract

    This paper documents the widely perceived but little investigated notion that teachers today are less qualified than they once were. Evidence of a marked decline in the quality of young women going into teaching between 1960 and 1990 is presented, using standardized test scores, undergraduate institution selectivity, and positive assortative mating characteristics as indicators of quality. In contrast, the quality of young women becoming professionals increased. The Roy model of self-selection highlights how occupational differences in the returns to skill determine teacher quality. Estimates suggest the significance of increasing professional opportunities for women in affecting the decline in teacher quality. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/rest.89.4.737
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 89 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 737-751

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    Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:89:y:2007:i:4:p:737-751

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    Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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    Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535

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    Cited by:
    1. Larsen, S. Eric, 2010. "Teacher MA attainment rates, 1970-2000," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 772-782, October.
    2. Gilpin, Gregory & Kaganovich, Michael, 2012. "The quantity and quality of teachers: Dynamics of the trade-off," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 417-429.
    3. Nora Gordon, 2013. "Explaining Trends in High School Graduation: The Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy Landscape and Income Inequality over the Last Half Century," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital in History: The American Record National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Grönqvist, Erik & Vlachos, Jonas, 2008. "One Size Fits All? The Effects of Teacher Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Abilities on Student Achievement," CEPR Discussion Papers 7086, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Richey, Jeremiah, 2014. "Divergent Trends in U.S. Teacher Quality: 1980-2010," MPRA Paper 55637, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Hanushek, Eric A., 2011. "The economic value of higher teacher quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 466-479, June.
    7. Hatsor, Limor, 2012. "Occupational choice: Teacher quality versus teacher quantity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 608-623.
    8. Wiswall, Matthew, 2013. "The dynamics of teacher quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 61-78.
    9. Leigh, Andrew, 2012. "Teacher pay and teacher aptitude," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 41-53.
    10. Nora E. Gordon, 2013. "High School Graduation in the Context of Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy and Income Inequality: The Last Half Century," NBER Working Papers 19049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Gilpin, Gregory A., 2011. "Reevaluating the effect of non-teaching wages on teacher attrition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 598-616, August.
    12. Grönqvist, Erik & Vlachos, Jonas, 2008. "One Size Fits All? The Effects of Teacher Cognitive and Non-cognitive Abilities on Student," Working Paper Series 779, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    13. Torberg Falch & Kaare Johansen & Bjarne Stroem, 2008. "Teacher shortages and the business cycle," Working Paper Series 9608, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

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