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Journal of Education and Development in the Caribbean

Estimating the Financial Incentive for Caribbean Teachers to Migrate: An Analysis of Salary Differentials using Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

Publication Date: 
October 2021

The teaching stock within the Caribbean region has been eroded by migration to developed countries. Higher potential earnings are one of the motivating factors to move abroad, but little is known about the extent of the income disparity between countries in the Caribbean and popular destination countries. Teacher salary comparisons are undertaken between selected countries in the Caribbean; Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, and Jamaica and popular destination countries, namely; United Kingdom, United States, and Canada using a purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rate. Results show that newly qualified teachers can earn substantially more abroad, with Canada paying over twice the PPP adjusted salary compared to that offered in Jamaica (133.1%) and Suriname (110.6%). The United States offers the highest earning increases for mid- and late career teachers at over three times that offered in Jamaica (214.5%) and Suriname (223.4%). Canada is a close second across all Caribbean countries, whilst the United Kingdom offers the smallest salary differentials at 153.6% for Jamaica and 64.8% for St. Lucia. The study further reveals that there are salary disparities within the Caribbean, which may be a motivating factor for intra-regional migration.

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