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

49 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2006 Last revised: 17 Sep 2021

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: January 2006

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.

Suggested Citation

Stoddard, Christiana and Kuhn, Peter J., Incentives and Effort in the Public Sector: Have U.S. Education Reforms Increased Teachers&Apos; Work Hours? (January 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w11970, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=878057

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 )

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Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States
(805) 893-3666 (Phone)
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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