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

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  • Stoddard, Christiana

    ()
    (Montana State University)

  • Kuhn, Peter J.

    ()
    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1412.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Education Review, 2008, 27 (1), 1-13
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1412

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

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  14. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2002. "Would School Choice Change the Teaching Profession?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 846-891.
  15. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2002. "The Promise and Pitfalls of Using Imprecise School Accountability Measures," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 91-114, Fall.
  16. Victor Lavy, 2002. "Evaluating the Effect of Teachers' Group Performance Incentives on Pupil Achievement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1286-1317, December.
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