The Journal of Economic History

Papers Presented at the Forty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association

Occupational Segregation, Teachers' Wages, and American Economic Growth

Susan B. Cartera1

a1 The author is Associate Professor of Economics, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts 01063.


National, state, and individual-level data are used to explore the implications of the crowding of educated women into the teaching profession in nineteenth-century America. It is found that the more young women attended school, the lower were teacher wages and the price of educational services. Through this mechanism young women paid for their own education and, by lowering the price of educational services, helped America develop the best-educated population in the world by the century's end.