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Schools Are Able To Hire Stronger Teachers When Economy Is Weak, Study Finds

A weak economy appears to have at least one upside: Schools are able to hire more effective teachers, according to new research.

Teachers hired during recessions were significantly more effective, as judged by their students’ performance on standardized tests, than teachers hired during better economic times, according to working paper published this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The paper provides the first direct evidence of what would seem to be common sense: The state of the overall job market affects the quality of new teachers. It was written by Harvard education professor Martin R. West and economists Markus Nagler of the University of Munich and Marc Piopiunik of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich.