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Do Higher Salaries Yield Better Teachers and Better Student Outcomes?

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  • Jose Maria Cabrera
  • Dinand Webbink

Abstract

We study the effects of a policy aimed at attracting experienced teachers in primary schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Uruguay. Teachers in these schools could earn higher salaries. Program eligibility was based on a poverty index with a cutoff rule. Estimates from regression discontinuity models show that the policy increased teacher experience. Overall, the effect on student outcomes was small. The program may have increased experience in ways that are not strongly associated with improved student outcomes. Consistent with this, we do find achievement gains for students in schools that saw a reduction in the share of very inexperienced teachers.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Maria Cabrera & Dinand Webbink, 2020. "Do Higher Salaries Yield Better Teachers and Better Student Outcomes?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 55(4), pages 1222-1257.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:55:y:2020:i:4:p:1222-1257
    Note: DOI: 10.3368/jhr.55.4.0717-8911R3
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    Cited by:

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    2. Matteo Bobba & Tim Ederer & Gianmarco León-Ciliotta & Christopher A. Neilson & Marco Nieddu, 2021. "Teacher compensation and structural inequality: Evidence from centralized teacher school choice in Perú," Economics Working Papers 1788, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. Fleck, Lara & Somers, Melline & Stolp, Tom & Groot, Wim & van Merode, Frits & de Vries, Ralph, 2023. "The Effectiveness of Interventions to Increase Employment in Education and Healthcare: A Systematic Literature Review," Research Memorandum 010, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    4. Grönqvist, Erik & Hensvik, Lena & Thoresson, Anna, 2020. "Teacher career opportunities and school quality," Working Paper Series 2020:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    5. Fleck, Lara & Somers, Melline & Stolp, Tom & Groot, Wim & Van Merode, F & de Vries, Ralph, 2023. "The Effectiveness of Interventions to Increase Employment in Education and Healthcare: A Systematic Literature Review," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).

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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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