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Skills and selection into teaching: evidence from Latin America

Estrada, Ricardo and Lombardi, María (2023) Skills and selection into teaching: evidence from Latin America. Economía, 22 (1). 218 – 239. ISSN 1529-7470

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Identification Number: 10.31389/eco.412


This paper documents a novel stylized fact: many teachers in Latin America have low levels of cognitive skills. This fact is the result of both low levels of skills among the population and—in the case of numeracy—a gap between the average skill level of teachers and the rest of the tertiary-educated population (i.e., a teacher skills gap). To characterize the selection patterns behind this gap, we show that individuals with a teaching degree have lower average skills than individuals with other tertiary degrees, and that this gap is larger than the teacher skills gap. This difference is mainly explained by the selection into teaching of graduates from non-teaching degrees. Finally, we show evidence on one important determinant of the teacher skills gap: teacher relative wages are decreasing in skills.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education > I21 - Analysis of Education
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J4 - Particular Labor Markets > J45 - Public Sector Labor Markets
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2023 15:24
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 18:36

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