Who chooses teaching under different labor market conditions? Evidence from West Germany, 1980-2009 | Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung

Martin Neugebauer
Who chooses teaching under different labor market conditions? Evidence from West Germany, 1980-2009

Teaching and Teacher Education, 2015: 45, pp. 137-148

To shed light on this question, this paper analyzes trends in labor market conditions and trends in teacher graduates’ characteristics over three decades. Based on representative data from West Germany, it shows that teacher earnings have not declined over time. Likewise, there is no decline in academic aptitude among teacher graduates. Unemployment risks, on the other hand, have fluctuated greatly. In times of high unemployment risks, the likelihood to enter teaching was low, especially for persons with pronounced extrinsic job-security motivations. This changed markedly in recent years, when employment prospects became auspicious.