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Teacher Quality and the Future of America

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  • Peter Temin

Abstract

I argue in this paper that we do not pay teachers enough to get high-quality applicants. The reasons we find ourselves in this inferior equilibrium are rooted in our history. Most American teachers are and have been women; we have not accommodated to the increasing opportunities for women in the economy today. Schools are locally funded, and we also have not accommodated to the declining effectiveness of the property tax. The result of having low-quality teachers is that current reforms sub-optimize with the current stock of teachers and therefore result at best in only small gains in educational quality. We are in danger of losing the educational advantage that the United States enjoyed in the 20th century.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8898.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Publication status: published as Temin, Peter. "Teacher Quality And The Future Of America," Eastern Economic Journal, 2002, v28(3,Summer), 285-300.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8898

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  1. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2001. "Improving School Accountability Measures," NBER Working Papers 8156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Darius Lakdawalla, 2001. "The Declining Quality of Teachers," NBER Working Papers 8263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Goldin, Claudia, 2001. "The Human-Capital Century and American Leadership: Virtues of the Past," Scholarly Articles 2624681, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. David N. Figlio & Marianne E. Page, 2003. "Can School Choice and School Accountability Successfully Coexist?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 49-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2001. "All School Finance Equalizations Are Not Created Equal," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1189-1231, November.
  6. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  9. Figlio, David & Loeb, Susanna, 2011. "School Accountability," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. Eric Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2004. "Do College Instructors Matter? The Effects of Adjuncts and Graduate Assistants on Students' Interests and Success," NBER Working Papers 10370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marigee Bacolod, 2006. "Do Alternative Opportunities Matter? The Role of Female Labor Markets in the Decline of Teacher Quality," Working Papers 06-22, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Wolter, Stefan C. & Denzler, Stefan, 2003. "Wage Elasticity of the Teacher Supply in Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 733, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Falch, Torberg & Johansen, Kåre & Strøm, Bjarne, 2009. "Teacher shortages and the business cycle," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 648-658, December.
  5. Kaoru Nabeshima, 2003. "Raising the quality of secondary education in East Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3140, The World Bank.
  6. Sean P. Corcoran & William N. Evans & Robert S. Schwab, 2002. "Changing Labor Market Opportunities for Women and the Quality of Teachers 1957-1992," NBER Working Papers 9180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Yolanda K. Kodrzycki, 2002. "Educational attainment as a constraint on economic growth and social progress," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 47(Jun), pages 37-95.
  8. Andersson, Christian & Waldenström, Nina, 2007. "Teacher supply and the market for teachers," Working Paper Series 2007:5, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

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