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Changing Labor Market Opportunities for Women and the Quality of Teachers 1957-1992

Author

Listed:
  • Sean P. Corcoran
  • William N. Evans
  • Robert S. Schwab

Abstract

School officials and policy makers 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 remained a predominately female profession for years; at the same time, the employment opportunities for talented women outside of teaching have soared. In this paper, we combine data from four longitudinal surveys of high school graduates spanning the years 1957-1992 to examine how the propensity for talented women to enter teaching has changed over time. We find that 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 from 1964 to 1992 by our estimation, from almost 20% to under 4%.

Suggested Citation

  • Sean P. Corcoran & William N. Evans & Robert S. Schwab, 2002. "Changing Labor Market Opportunities for Women and the Quality of Teachers 1957-1992," NBER Working Papers 9180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9180
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Peter Temin, 2002. "Teacher Quality and the Future of America," NBER Working Papers 8898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Flyer, Fredrick & Rosen, Sherwin, 1997. "The New Economics of Teachers and Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 104-139, January.
    5. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Brewer, Dominic J., 1994. "Do school and teacher characteristics matter? Evidence from High School and Beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-17, March.
    6. Darius Lakdawalla, 2001. "The Declining Quality of Teachers," NBER Working Papers 8263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
    8. Peter Temin, 2002. "Teacher Quality and the Future of America," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 285-300, Summer.
    9. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    10. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 34-63, February.
    11. Hanushek, Eric, 1971. "Teacher Characteristics and Gains in Student Achievement: Estimation Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 280-288, May.
    12. Dale Ballou & Michael Podgursky, 1996. "Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number tptq, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Clemens, Michael A., 2009. "Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration of Skilled-Worker Mobility and Development," MPRA Paper 19186, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gianna Barbieri & Piero Cipollone & Paolo Sestito, 2007. "Labour Market for Teachers: Demographic Characteristics and Allocative Mechanisms," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 66(3), pages 335-373, November.
    3. Jere R. Behrman & Michela M. Tincani & Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2016. "Teacher Quality in Public and Private Schools under a Voucher System: The Case of Chile," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 319-362.
    4. Hanushek, Eric A., 2011. "The economic value of higher teacher quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 466-479, June.
    5. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    6. 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, vol. 6(1), pages 1-44, December.
    7. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2013. "Students today, teachers tomorrow: Identifying constraints on the provision of education," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 1-14.
    8. Gregory Gilpin & Michael Kaganovich, 2009. "The Quantity and Quality of Teachers: A Dynamic Trade-off," CESifo Working Paper Series 2516, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Grönqvist, Erik & Vlachos, Jonas, 2008. "One Size Fits All? The Effects of Teacher Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Abilities on Student Achievement," CEPR Discussion Papers 7086, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. repec:aec:ebooks:12 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Grönqvist, Erik & Vlachos, Jonas, 2008. "One Size Fits All? The Effects of Teacher Cognitive and Non-cognitive Abilities on Student," Working Paper Series 779, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    12. Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 16850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Richey, Jeremiah, 2014. "Divergent Trends in U.S. Teacher Quality: 1980-2010," MPRA Paper 55637, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Arnaud Chevalier & Peter Dolton, 2004. "The labour market for teachers," Working Papers 200411, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    15. Lakdawalla, Darius, 2006. "The Economics of Teacher Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 285-329, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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