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Competition, wages and teacher sorting: four lessons learned from a voucher reform

  • Hensvik, Lena


    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

This paper studies how local school competition affects teacher wages at markets where wages are set via individual wage bargaining. Using regional variation in private school entry generated by a Swedish reform which allowed private schools to enter freely and a comprehensive matched employer employee data covering all high school teachers in Sweden over 16 years, I analyze the effects of competition on wages as well as labor flows. The results suggest that competition translates into higher wages, also for teachers in public schools. While the average increases are modest new teachers gain 2 percent and high ability teachers in math and science receive 4 percent higher wages in the most competitive areas compared to areas without any competition from private schools. Several robustness checks support a causal interpretation of the results which together highlight the potential gains from school competition through a more differentiated wage setting of teachers.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2010:8.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Hensvik, Lena, 'Competition, Wages and Teacher Sorting: Lessons Learned from a Voucher Reform' in The Economic Journal, 2012, pages 799-824.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2010_008
Contact details of provider: Postal: IFAU, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: (+46) 18 - 471 70 70
Fax: (+46) 18 - 471 70 71
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  1. Bertrand, Marianne & Kramarz, Francis, 2002. "Does Entry Regulation Hinder Job Creation? Evidence from the French Retail Industry," IZA Discussion Papers 415, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross & Giorgio Topa, 2004. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working papers 2004-07, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2005.
  3. Ashenfelter, Orley & Farber, Henry S & Ransom, Michael R., 2010. "Modern Models of Monopsony in Labor Markets: A Brief Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 4915, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Does Entry Regulation Hinder Job Creation? Evidence from the French Retail Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1369-1413.
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