NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Teacher Quality and the Future of America

Peter Temin

NBER Working Paper No. 8898
Issued in April 2002
NBER Program(s):   DAE   LS   PE   ED

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8898

Published: Temin, Peter. "Teacher Quality And The Future Of America," Eastern Economic Journal, 2002, v28(3,Summer), 285-300.

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