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Teacher compensation and structural inequality: Evidence from centralized teacher school choice in Perú




This paper studies how increasing teacher compensation at hard-to-staff schools can reduce inequality in access to qualified teachers. Leveraging an unconditional change in the teacher compensation structure in Peru, we first show causal evidence that increasing salaries at less desirable locations attracts better quality applicants and improves student test scores. We then estimate a model of teacher preferences over local amenities, school characteristics, and wages using geocoded job postings and rich application data from the nationwide centralized teacher assignment system. Our estimated model suggests that the current policy is both inefficient and not large enough to effectively undo the inequality of initial conditions that hard-to-staff schools and their communities face. Counterfactual analyses that incorporate equilibrium sorting effects characterize alternative wage schedules and quantify the cost of reducing structural inequality in the allocation of teacher talent across schools.

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  • Matteo Bobba & Tim Ederer & Gianmarco León-Ciliotta & Christopher A. Neilson & Marco Nieddu, 2021. "Teacher compensation and structural inequality: Evidence from centralized teacher school choice in Perú," Economics Working Papers 1788, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1788

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    1. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1992. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U. S. Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Work Force: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 67-92, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item


    Inequality; teacher school choice; teacher wages; matching with contracts;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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