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The effect of wage compression and alternative labor market opportunities on teacher quality in Venezuela

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  • Ortega, Daniel E.

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of teacher relative wages and teacher wage dispersion on high school graduates' preferences for teaching majors in College. This approximation to teacher quality is appropriate in a country like Venezuela as opposed to the US since the rigidity of the tertiary school system significantly limits mobility between majors. I combine data from the national college entrance examination from 1984 to 2003 with labor market data from the household surveys to construct a panel of data for quintiles of the test score distribution and age groups by states. The results suggest that teacher wage premia and wage dispersion have little effect on the quality mix of applicants to teaching. Most students' preference for teaching is unresponsive to wage levels relative to other occupations and to wage growth prospects within teaching. If wages have a positive effect on the performance of educational systems, this paper argues that it is unlikely to be through the selection of the most talented individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Ortega, Daniel E., 2010. "The effect of wage compression and alternative labor market opportunities on teacher quality in Venezuela," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 760-771, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:5:p:760-771
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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. Menezes-Filho, Naercio & Pazello, Elaine, 2007. "Do teachers' wages matter for proficiency? Evidence from a funding reform in Brazil," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 660-672, December.
    3. repec:fth:prinin:366 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sean P. Corcoran & William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 2004. "Changing Labor-Market Opportunities for Women and the Quality of Teachers, 1957-2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 230-235, May.
    5. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    6. Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "The Long Run Importance of School Quality," NBER Working Papers 9071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Florian Hoffmann & Philip Oreopoulos, 2009. "Professor Qualities and Student Achievement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 83-92, February.
    9. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
    10. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    11. Podgursky, Michael & Monroe, Ryan & Watson, Donald, 2004. "The academic quality of public school teachers: an analysis of entry and exit behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 507-518, October.
    12. 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.
    13. Emiliana Vegas & Jenny Petrow, 2008. "Raising Student Learning in Latin America : The Challenge for the Twenty-First Century," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6802.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alejandra Mizala & Hugo Ñopo, 2014. "Measuring the Relative Pay of Latin American School Teachers at the turn of the 20th Century," Working Papers 2014-15, Peruvian Economic Association.
    2. Mizala, Alejandra & Ñopo, Hugo, 2016. "Measuring the relative pay of school teachers in Latin America 1997–2007," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 20-32.

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