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Self-Selection into Teaching: The Role of Teacher Education Institutions


  • Denzler, Stefan

    () (Swiss Co-ordination Center for Research in Education)

  • Wolter, Stefan C.

    () (University of Bern)


Good teachers are critical for a high-quality educational system. This in turns leads to the question of who is interested in going into the teaching profession. Although research has been done on the professional careers of teachers, the issue of self-selection into teacher education has been mostly overlooked until now. The analyses contained in our study are based on a representative sampling of over 1500 high-school students in Switzerland shortly before graduation. The findings indicate that there is a self-selection process with regard to courses of study at teaching training institutions, which is reinforced by institutional and structural characteristics of the types of higher education institutions and the courses of study they offer. This can clearly be seen in comparison with high-school students preparing to study at another type of higher educational institution (university). Accordingly, the findings of this paper tend to indicate that the choices made by future teachers depend to a large extent also on where and how teachers are trained.

Suggested Citation

  • Denzler, Stefan & Wolter, Stefan C., 2008. "Self-Selection into Teaching: The Role of Teacher Education Institutions," IZA Discussion Papers 3505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3505

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hanushek, Eric A. & Pace, Richard R., 1995. "Who chooses to teach (and why)?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 101-117, June.
    2. Stefan C. Wolter & Stefan Denzler, 2004. "Wage elasticity of the teacher supply in Switzerland," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(3-4), pages 387-408.
    3. Freeman, Richard B., 1987. "Demand for education," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 357-386 Elsevier.
    4. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    5. Podgursky, Michael & Monroe, Ryan & Watson, Donald, 2004. "The academic quality of public school teachers: an analysis of entry and exit behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 507-518, October.
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    More about this item


    teacher education colleges; teacher training; teacher education; self-selection; v;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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