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Women, the labor market, and the declining relative quality of teachers

Author

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  • Sean P. Corcoran

    (Department of Economics, California State University, Sacramento)

  • William N. Evans

    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, College Park)

  • Robert M. Schwab

    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, College Park)

Abstract

School officials and policymakers have grown increasingly concerned about their ability to attract and retain talented teachers. A number of authors have shown that in recent years the brightest students-at least those with the highest verbal and math scores on standardized tests-are less likely to enter teaching. In addition, it is frequently claimed that the ability of schools to attract these top students has been steadily declining for years. There is, however, surprisingly little evidence measuring the extent to which this popular proposition is true. We have good reason to suspect that the quality of those entering teaching has fallen over time. Teaching has for years remained a predominately female profession; at the same time, the employment opportunities for talented women outside teaching have soared. In this paper, we combine data from five longitudinal surveys of high school graduates spanning the classes of 1957 to 1992 to examine how the propensity for talented women to enter teaching has changed over time. While the quality of the average new female teacher has fallen only slightly over this period, the likelihood that a female from the top of her high school class will eventually enter teaching has fallen dramatically. © 2004 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Sean P. Corcoran & William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 2004. "Women, the labor market, and the declining relative quality of teachers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 449-470.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:23:y:2004:i:3:p:449-470 DOI: 10.1002/pam.20021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 60-69.
    2. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1999. "Do Higher Salaries Buy Better Teachers?," NBER Working Papers 7082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Claudia Goldin, 2004. "From the Valley to the Summit: The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Work," NBER Working Papers 10335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hanushek, Eric, 1971. "Teacher Characteristics and Gains in Student Achievement: Estimation Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 280-288.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marigee Bacolod, 2006. "Do Alternative Opportunities Matter? The Role of Female Labor Markets in the Decline of Teacher Quality," Working Papers 06-22, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Eric A. Hanushek & Marc Piopiunik & Simon Wiederhold, 2014. "The Value of Smarter Teachers: International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance," CESifo Working Paper Series 5120, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Larsen, S. Eric, 2010. "Teacher MA attainment rates, 1970-2000," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, pages 772-782.
    4. Scafidi Benjamin & Sjoquist David L. & Stinebrickner Todd R., 2006. "Do Teachers Really Leave for Higher Paying Jobs in Alternative Occupations?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-44.
    5. Alejandro Ganimian & Mariana Alfonso & Ana Santiago, 2013. "Calling Their Bluff: Expressed and Revealed Preferences of Top College Graduates Entering Teaching in Argentina," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 82302, Inter-American Development Bank.
    6. Michela Tincani, 2014. "School Vouchers and the Joint Sorting of Students and Teachers," Working Papers 2014-012, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    7. Player, Daniel, 2009. "Monetary returns to academic ability in the public teacher labor market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, pages 277-285.
    8. Daniel Aaronson & Katherine Meckel, 2009. "How will baby boomer retirements affect teacher labor markets?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, pages 2-15.
    9. Wiswall, Matthew, 2013. "The dynamics of teacher quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 61-78.
    10. 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, pages 230-235.
    11. Richard J. Murnane, 2008. "Educating Urban Children," NBER Working Papers 13791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Eric A. Hanushek & Marc Piopiunik & Simon Wiederhold, 2014. "International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance," CID Working Papers 63, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    13. Richey, Jeremiah, 2014. "Divergent Trends in U.S. Teacher Quality: 1980-2010," MPRA Paper 55637, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, Todd R., 2006. "What can be learned about peer effects using college roommates? Evidence from new survey data and students from disadvantaged backgrounds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1435-1454, September.
    15. Marchand, Joseph & Weber, Jeremy, 2015. "The Labor Market and School Finance Effects of the Texas Shale Boom on Teacher Quality and Student Achievement," Working Papers 2015-15, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.

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