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How and Why Has Teacher Quality Changed in Australia?



"International research suggests that differences in teacher performance can explain a large portion of student achievement. Yet little is known about how the quality of the Australian teaching profession has changed over time. Using consistent data on the academic aptitude of new teachers, we compare those who have entered the teaching profession in Australia over the past two decades. We find that the aptitude of new teachers has fallen considerably. Between 1983 and 2003, the average percentile rank of those entering teacher education fell from 74 to 61, while the average rank of new teachers fell from 70 to 62. We find that two factors account for much of the decline: a fall in average teacher pay (relative to other occupations) and a rise in pay differentials in non-teaching occupations." Copyright (c)2008 The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.

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  • Andrew Leigh & Chris Ryan, 2008. "How and Why Has Teacher Quality Changed in Australia?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 41(2), pages 141-159, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecr:v:41:y:2008:i:2:p:141-159

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Dolton & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 1999. "The Turnover of Teachers: A Competing Risks Explanation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 543-550, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leigh, Andrew, 2010. "Estimating teacher effectiveness from two-year changes in students' test scores," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 480-488, June.
    2. Son Nghiem & Ha Trong Nguyen & Luke B. Connelly, 2016. "The Efficiency of Australian Schools: A Nationwide Analysis Using Gains in Test Scores of Students as Outputs," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 35(3), pages 256-268, September.
    3. Alison L. Booth & Hiau Joo Kee, 2011. "A Long‐Run View Of The University Gender Gap In Australia," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 51(3), pages 254-276, November.
    4. Andrew Leigh & Chris Ryan, 2011. "Long-Run Trends in School Productivity: Evidence from Australia," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 105-135, January.
    5. Richard Cebula & Franklin Mixon & Mark Montez, 2015. "Teachers’ salaries and human capital, and their effects on academic performance: an institution-level analysis of Los Angeles County high schools," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 39(2), pages 347-356, April.
    6. Leigh, Andrew, 2012. "Teacher pay and teacher aptitude," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 41-53.
    7. Andrew Leigh, 2013. "Revenge of the Nerds: The Economics of Education Reform," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 46(2), pages 227-233, June.
    8. Mausumi Das & Subrata Guha, 2012. "What Do Teachers Do? Teacher Quality Vis-a-vis Teacher Quantity in a Model of Public Education and Growth," Working papers 216, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    9. Grönqvist, Erik & Vlachos, Jonas, 2016. "One size fits all? The effects of teachers' cognitive and social abilities on student achievement," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 138-150.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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