ERIC Number: ED437710
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Mar
Do Higher Salaries Buy Better Teachers?
Hanushek, Eric A.; Kain, John F.; Rivkin, Steven G.
This paper draws on the matched panel data of the UTD Texas School Project to investigate how shifts in salary schedules affect the composition of teachers within a district. When trying to estimate the true relationship between teacher quality and salaries, four methodological problems typically intervene: measuring teacher quality; distinguishing between shifts in salary schedules and movements along a given schedule; determining how the recent history of pay levels, combined with current pay, influences the composition of teachers; and discerning the existence of compensating differentials for different working conditions, which complicates the interpretation of observed salary differentials across districts and states. The panel data permit separation of shifts in salary schedules from movement along given schedules, and, thus, the analysis is more closely related to existing policy proposals. In analyses both of teacher mobility and of student performance, teacher salaries were shown to have a modest impact. Teacher mobility was more affected by characteristics of the students (income, race, and achievement) than by salary schedules. Salaries were also weakly related to performance on teacher certification tests--appearing to be relevant only in districts doing high levels of hiring. The only significant relationship between salaries and student achievement held (implausibly) for existing experienced teachers but not for new hires or for probationary teachers. (Contains 54 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
IES Cited: ED457587
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (New York, NY, January 3-5, 1999).