The Effect of Occupational Licensing Stringency on the Teacher Quality Distribution

74 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2020 Last revised: 10 Jun 2022

See all articles by Bradley Larsen

Bradley Larsen

Stanford University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); eBay Research Labs

Ziao Ju

Stanford University

Adam Kapor

Princeton University

Chuan Yu

Stanford University - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 2020

Abstract

Concerned about the low academic ability of public school teachers, in the 1990s and 2000s, some states increased licensing stringency to weed out low-quality candidates, while others decreased restrictions to attract high-quality candidates. We offer a theoretical model justifying both reactions. Using data from 1991–2007 on licensing requirements and teacher quality—as measured by the selectivity of teachers’ undergraduate institutions—we find that stricter licensing requirements, especially those emphasizing academic coursework, increase the left tail of the quality distribution for secondary school teachers without significantly decreasing quality for high-minority or high-poverty districts.

Suggested Citation

Larsen, Bradley and Ju, Ziao and Kapor, Adam and Yu, Chuan, The Effect of Occupational Licensing Stringency on the Teacher Quality Distribution (December 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w28158, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3743890

Bradley Larsen (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~bjlarsen/research.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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eBay Research Labs ( email )

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Ziao Ju

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Adam Kapor

Princeton University ( email )

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

Chuan Yu

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
STANFORD, CA 94305-6072
United States

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