Recruiting Smarter Teachers
In recent years many states have raised teacher salaries to attract more capable teachers. Since teacher labor markets are typically in a state of excess supply, success of such policies is contingent on containing perverse feedbacks which arise among exit decisions, vacancy rates, and the willingness of prospective teachers to invest in occupation-specific human capital. Using SAT scores as a measure of ability, we find that an across-the-board raise produces modest improvements in the work force at best. Indeed, under plausible parameter values, it is possible for mean ability to decline.
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