IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Managing the teacher pay system: What the local and international data are telling us

  • Martin Gustafsson


    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

  • Firoz Patel


    (System Planning and Monitoring, Department of Education)

A review of a few input-output models indicates the importance of teacher ability, which may be independent of years of training, for improving pupil performance. A historical analysis confirms the substantial pay increases experienced by teachers in the mid-1990s, moderate pay increases in real terms since 1996, and a falling ratio of teacher pay to GDP per capita. Analysis of Labour Force Survey data reveals that in 2007 teachers were paid less than other professionals, even if the comparison is made conditional on a number of non-pay variables. Working hours is not used as a conditioning variable, however, and low pupil performance levels suggest that the average productivity of teachers is not high. In 2007 the age-pay slope for teachers was flatter than that for other professionals. The impact of the 2008 changes to the teacher pay system are considered. These changes initiate a gradual closing of the pay gap between teachers and other professionals, and convert a rather flat age-pay slope for teachers into one that compares favourably to that of other professionals, and to those of teachers in other countries. The fact that the new system links progression up the salary scales to the behavioural input characteristics of teachers is line with good practice elsewhere, but the linking of pupil performance to teacher pay is probably best undertaken collectively at the level of the school. The teaching hours put in by teachers compares favourably to those in other countries, yet the utilisation of teacher time in many schools is not optimal, resulting in class sizes that are unacceptably high.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2009
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 26/2009.

in new window

Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers99
Contact details of provider: Postal: Private Bag X1, 7602 Matieland
Phone: 021-8082247
Fax: +27 (0)21-808 2409
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Martin Gustafsson, 2007. "Using The Hierarchical Linear Model To Understand School Production In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 75(1), pages 84-98, 03.
  2. Paul Glewwe & Nauman Ilias & Michael Kremer, 2003. "Teacher Incentives," NBER Working Papers 9671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ronelle Burger & Servaas van der Berg, 2003. "Education and Socio-Economic Differentials: A Study of School Performance in the Western Cape," Working Papers 03073, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  4. Dorrit Posel & Daniela Casale, 2005. "Who replies in brackets and what are the implications for earnings estimates? An analysis of earnings data from South Africa," Working Papers 07, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  5. Alejandra Mizala & Pilar Romaguera, 2004. "Teachers’ Salary Structure and Incentives in Chile," Documentos de Trabajo 193, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  6. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 179, OECD Publishing.
  7. Hoenack, Stephen A., 1996. "The economics of education in developing countries: An assessment of the state of the art," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 327-338, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers99. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Melt van Schoor)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.