9.6.06

COMPENSATING DIFFERENTIALS MATTER. Owen at Boots and Sabers discovers that some teachers get more support from the parents and better pay than others.

The schools dominated by poverty are also generally the crappiest schools to work in. They are generally in bad neighborhoods where crime is an every day issue. Also, the kids generally have less support for education outside of school, so the kids are less enthusiastic about learning and are more likely to have behavioral issues. Did I put that gently enough? To sum it up, it sucks to work in most of these schools.

As such, the teachers who work in these schools are those who just got out of college and will take the best job available to them given their lack of experience. After they have a bit of experience and are (presumably) better teachers, they have a bit of market power to leverage their employer into transferring them to a better work environment.

Incentives matter.
The first option is to force more experienced teachers to work in the crappy schools. The down side to this is that those teachers will be much less satisfied with their jobs are are more likely to quit or move to another district. The second option is to provide incentives for more experienced teachers to work in the crappy school - “hazard pay,” if you will. I’m sure that this option would violate all sorts of union contracts, plus it’s probably cost prohibitive.
Is a compensating differential for teachers more cost prohibitive than, oh, additional prisons and cops, bearing in mind that cops, too, might prefer writing traffic tickets to busting gang-bangers?

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