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When Does Teacher Licensure Make Sense?

Author

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  • Arias J. J.

    () (Georgia College & State University)

  • Scafidi Benjamin

    () (Georgia College & State University)

Abstract

Teacher licensure is a regime where schools are forbidden from hiring teachers who have not completed a program of study in a teacher education program and/or other preparation requirements. This paper specifies a theoretical model of a school hiring teachers who are either traditionalcompleted a program of study in a teacher education program or alternativeentered teaching through an alternative path. We combine the implications of the theoretical model with the empirical literature on teacher labor markets to reach conclusions about how labor market policies would impact teacher quality. Perhaps the most important conclusion is that it is very likely that a regime of teacher licensure would lower teacher quality and student achievement. The key reason why licensure would lower teacher quality is that licensure fails to make the important distinction between marginal and average quality in hiring decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Arias J. J. & Scafidi Benjamin, 2009. "When Does Teacher Licensure Make Sense?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-46, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Donald Boyd & Pamela Grossman & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2006. "How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(2), pages 176-216, April.
    3. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "Explaining the Short Careers of High-Achieving Teachers in Schools with Low-Performing Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 166-171, May.
    4. Croninger, Robert G. & Rice, Jennifer King & Rathbun, Amy & Nishio, Masako, 2007. "Teacher qualifications and early learning: Effects of certification, degree, and experience on first-grade student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 312-324, June.
    5. Leland, Hayne E, 1979. "Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1328-1346, December.
    6. Kane, Thomas J. & Rockoff, Jonah E. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2008. "What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 615-631, December.
    7. Morris M. Kleiner, 2006. "Licensing Occupations: Ensuring Quality or Restricting Competition?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number lo, November.
    8. 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.
    9. Dale Ballou, 1996. "Do Public Schools Hire the Best Applicants?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 97-133.
    10. Carl Shapiro, 1986. "Investment, Moral Hazard, and Occupational Licensing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 843-862.
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