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Do Higher Salaries Buy Better Teachers?

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  • Eric A. Hanushek
  • John F. Kain
  • Steven G. Rivkin

Abstract

Important policy decisions rest on the relationship between teacher salaries and the quality of teachers, but the evidence about the strength of any such relationship is thin. This paper relies upon the matched panel data of the UTD Texas School Project to investigate how shifts in salary schedules affect the composition of teachers within a district. The panel data permit separation of shifts in salary schedules from movement along given schedules, and thus the analysis is much more closely related to existing policy proposals. In analyses both of teacher mobility and of student performance, teacher salaries are shown to have a modest impact. Teacher mobility is more affected by characteristics of the students (income, race, and achievement) than by salary schedules. Salaries are also weakly related to performance on teacher certification tests appearing to be relevant only in districts doing high levels of hiring, but preliminary examination shows that the certification tests are not significantly related to student achievement. The only significant relationship between salaries and student achievement holds (implausibly) for existing experienced teachers and not for new hires or for probationary teachers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7082.

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Date of creation: Apr 1999
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7082

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  1. Ballou, Dale, 1996. "Do Public Schools Hire the Best Applicants?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 97-133, February.
  2. Baugh, William H. & Stone, Joe A., 1982. "Mobility and wage equilibration in the educator labor market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 253-274, June.
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  4. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1998. "Does Special Education Raise Academic Achievement for Students with Disabilities?," NBER Working Papers 6690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin & Lori L. Taylor, 1996. "Aggregation and the Estimated Effects of School Resources," NBER Working Papers 5548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Chambers, Jay G., 1977. "The impact of collective bargaining for teachers on resource allocation in public school districts," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 324-339, July.
  8. Rumberger, Russell W., 1987. "The impact of salary differentials on teacher shortages and turnover: The case of mathematics and science teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 389-399, August.
  9. Grogger, Jeff, 1996. "Does School Quality Explain the Recent Black/White Wage Trend?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 231-53, April.
  10. Flyer, F. & Rosen, S., 1994. "The New Economics of Teachers and Education," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center, Chicago - Economics Research Center 94-1, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  11. John F. Kain & Kraig Singleton, 1996. "Equality of education opportunity revisited," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 87-114.
  12. Hoxby, Caroline Minter, 1996. "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 671-718, August.
  13. Dale Ballou & Michael Podgursky, 1995. "Recruiting Smarter Teachers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 326-338.
  14. Richard J. Murnane, 1981. "Teacher Mobility Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(1), pages 3-19.
  15. Brown, Byron W & Saks, Daniel H, 1975. "The Production and Distribution of Cognitive Skills within Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 571-93, June.
  16. R. Mark Gritz & Neil D. Theobald, 1996. "The Effects of School District Spending Priorities on Length of Stay in Teaching," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 477-512.
  17. Boardman, Anthony E. & Darling-Hammond, Linda & Mullin, Stephen P., 1982. "A framework for the analysis of teachers' demand and supply," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 127-155, April.
  18. Hanushek, Eric A. & Pace, Richard R., 1995. "Who chooses to teach (and why)?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 101-117, June.
  19. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, 03.
  20. Brewer, Dominic J, 1996. "Career Paths and Quit Decisions: Evidence from Teaching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 313-39, April.
  21. Hanushek, E.A.omson, W., 1996. "Assessing the Effects of School Resources on Student Performance : An Update," RCER Working Papers 424, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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