Teachers' salaries in public education: Between myth and fact

Adam E. Nir*, Melly Naphcha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of research is to attempt to determine to what extent the salary level of teachers working in public educational systems is connected with the trend towards privatization considering that privatization has become nowadays a prominent phenomenon in educational systems around the world. Design/methodology/approach - A secondary analysis of the 2003 data coming from 29 OECD countries is conducted attempting to reveal what educational as well as economic antecedents other than the GDP per capita may account for the differences among various countries in the salary level of teachers working in public education. Findings - When GDP per capita is controlled in the analysis, it is evident that teacher salary level is correlated with the degree of privatization characterizing a particular educational system. Specifically, the evidence suggests that if less than 15 percent of the students study in private schools in a given state, teachers' salaries are likely to be below the expected salary according to the state's GDP per capita. Originality/value - These findings enable the conclusion that the existence of a private sector alongside the public one may indirectly contribute to an increase of the salary level of teachers working in the public education sector.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)315-328
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007


  • Gross national product
  • Pay
  • Privatization
  • Public education
  • Teachers


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