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Teacher Quality and the Future of America

  • Peter Temin

I argue in this paper that we do not pay teachers enough to get high-quality applicants. The reasons we find ourselves in this inferior equilibrium are rooted in our history. Most American teachers are and have been women; we have not accommodated to the increasing opportunities for women in the economy today. Schools are locally funded, and we also have not accommodated to the declining effectiveness of the property tax. The result of having low-quality teachers is that current reforms sub-optimize with the current stock of teachers and therefore result at best in only small gains in educational quality. We are in danger of losing the educational advantage that the United States enjoyed in the 20th century.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8898.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8898.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Publication status: published as Temin, Peter. "Teacher Quality And The Future Of America," Eastern Economic Journal, 2002, v28(3,Summer), 285-300.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8898
Note: DAE LS PE ED
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  1. Goldin, Claudia, 2001. "The Human-Capital Century and American Leadership: Virtues of the Past," Scholarly Articles 2624681, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
  3. Darius Lakdawalla, 2001. "The Declining Quality of Teachers," NBER Working Papers 8263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  5. David N. Figlio & Marianne E. Page, 2003. "Can School Choice and School Accountability Successfully Coexist?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 49-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2001. "Improving School Accountability Measures," NBER Working Papers 8156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Figlio, David & Loeb, Susanna, 2011. "School Accountability," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  8. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2001. "All School Finance Equalizations Are Not Created Equal," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1189-1231, November.
  9. Susanna Loeb & Marianne E. Page, 2000. "Examining The Link Between Teacher Wages And Student Outcomes: The Importance Of Alternative Labor Market Opportunities And Non-Pecuniary Variation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, August.
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