Incentives and Effort in the Public Sector: Have U.S. Education Reforms Increased Teachers' Work Hours?

37 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2004

See all articles by Christiana Stoddard

Christiana Stoddard

Montana State University - Bozeman

Peter Kuhn

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

Beyond some contracted minimum, salaried workers' hours are largely chosen at the worker's discretion and should respond to the strength of contract incentives. Accordingly, we consider the response of teacher hours to accountability and school choice laws introduced in U.S. public schools over the past two decades. Total weekly hours of full-time teachers have risen steadily since 1983 by about an hour, and after-school instructional hours have increased 34 percent since 1987. Average hours and the rate of increase also vary widely across states. However, after accounting for a common time trend in hours, we find no association between the introduction of accountability legislation and the change in teacher hours. We conjecture that the weak link between effort and compensation in most school reforms helps explain the lack of such an association.

Keywords: teachers, labor supply, work hours, education reform

JEL Classification: I21, I28, J22, J44, J45

Suggested Citation

Stoddard, Christiana and Kuhn, Peter J., Incentives and Effort in the Public Sector: Have U.S. Education Reforms Increased Teachers' Work Hours? (November 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=626024 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.626024

Christiana Stoddard

Montana State University - Bozeman ( email )

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States

Peter J. Kuhn (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

North Hall 3036
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
(805) 893-3666 (Phone)
(805) 893-8830 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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