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Are Teachers in Africa Poorly Paid? : Evidence from 15 Countries

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  • Evans,David K.
  • Yuan,Fei
  • Filmer,Deon P.

Abstract

Pay levels for public sector workers—and especially teachers—are a constant source of controversy. In many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, protests and strikes suggest that pay is low, while simple comparisons to average national income per capita suggest that it is high. This study presents data on teacher pay from 15 African countries, along with five comparator countries from other regions. The results suggest that in several (seven) countries, teachers' monthly salaries are lower than other formal sector workers with comparable levels of education and experience. However, in all of those countries, teachers report working significantly fewer hours than other workers, so that their hourly wage is higher. Teachers who report fewer hours are no more likely to report holding a second job, although teachers overall are nearly two times more likely to hold a second job than other workers. With higher national incomes, the absolute value of teacher salaries rises, but they fall as a percentage of income per capita. The study explores variation across types of teacher contracts, the association between teacher pay and student performance, and the association between teacher pay premia and other aspects of economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Evans,David K. & Yuan,Fei & Filmer,Deon P., 2020. "Are Teachers in Africa Poorly Paid? : Evidence from 15 Countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9358, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:9358
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Filmer,Deon P. & Habyarimana,James Paul & Sabarwal,Shwetlena, 2020. "Teacher Performance-Based Incentives and Learning Inequality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9382, The World Bank.
    3. Andrew Zeitlin, 2021. "Teacher Turnover in Rwanda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies, vol. 30(1), pages 81-102.
    4. Christopher Neilson & Sebastian Gallegos & Franco Calle, 2019. "Screening and Recruiting Talent At Teacher Colleges Using Pre-College Academic Achievement," Working Papers 636, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational Sciences; Labor Markets; Secondary Education; Effective Schools and Teachers; Educational Institutions&Facilities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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