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September 30, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Four reasons that teacher pay is a distorted market in both public and private schools

I think its a distorted market or a skewed market–outside of the fact that its government run for 4 reasons (I can really only justify the first 2 and the last one)

1. Partially…education is run like a non-profit…and it always will be if you’re educating people who aren’t rich. When someone is being subsidized, people tend to try to minimize the cost at the extreme. Society doesn’t generally pay those who help the least disadvantaged well.
2. Due to long term versus short term thinking (ie behavioral economics)
3. Teachers teach for very emotional reasons. Teachers act like Mother Teresa–but obviously to a lesser degree.
4. Every feminized career is under market rate (teacher, secretary, nurse). Careers which women tend to occupy result in this type of skewing.

I’m not sure how you could peg the value that teachers create for students in terms of (although I’ve read studies):
1. stopping crime & just baby sitting
2. helping create character long term
3. educating the masses to make millions
4. the opportunity cost of going to prison for those who didn’t go to school or drop out ($40k a year)
5. the world without teachers would be pretty bad.

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