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(Mis-)Measuring the Relative Pay of Public School Teachers

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Podgursky

    () (Department of Economics, University of Missouri–Columbia)

  • Ruttaya Tongrut

    (Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand)

Abstract

Statistics on the relative pay of public school teachers are routinely cited by plaintiffs in school finance (“adequacy”) lawsuits. However, comparisons of pay and benefits for public school teachers to those of professional employees in other sectors are complicated by the fact that most teachers work under contracts that are nine or ten months in length rather than a full year. The authors show that this makes household survey data on weekly earnings in the widely used Current Population Survey (CPS-ORG) unreliable. In general, employer-reported data on salaries and benefits such as the National Compensation Survey (NCS) or state administrative data are preferred for this type of comparison. NCS data on weekly earnings in metropolitan labor markets suggest that pay of public school teachers compares much more favorably to that of nonteachers than CPS-ORG data suggest. © 2006 American Education Finance Association

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Podgursky & Ruttaya Tongrut, 2006. "(Mis-)Measuring the Relative Pay of Public School Teachers," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 425-440, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:1:y:2006:i:4:p:425-440
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Taylor, Lori L., 2008. "Comparing teacher salaries: Insights from the U.S. census," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 48-57, February.
    2. Maury Gittleman & Brooks Pierce, 2012. "Compensation for State and Local Government Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 217-242, Winter.
    3. Matthew M. Chingos & Martin R. West, 2010. "Do More Effective Teachers Earn More Outside of the Classroom?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2996, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Kristine L. West, 2014. "New Measures of TeachersÕ Work Hours and Implications for Wage Comparisons," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, pages 231-263.
    5. Asadullah, Mohammad Niaz, 2006. "Pay differences between teachers and other occupations: Some empirical evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 1044-1065, December.
    6. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    teacher pay; teacher salaries; teacher benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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