Educational Business Cycles: The Political Economy of Teacher Hiring Across German States, 1992-2004

Posted: 21 Nov 2007 Last revised: 24 Sep 2009

See all articles by Markus S. Tepe

Markus S. Tepe

University of Oldenburg

Pieter Vanhuysse

University of Southern Denmark

Date Written: April 8, 2008

Abstract

Strong institutional constraints and better-informed voters may lead re-election seeking incumbents to shift the use of political business cycle mechanisms away from monetary and fiscal policy towards other policy domains that are more easily manipulable, targetable, and timeable. We investigate teacher employment patterns at the state level in Germany and find strong evidence of cycling mechanisms, in the form of electioneering and honeymooning. Against a backdrop of a continuously shrinking total teachers' pool, German state-level incumbents accelerate the hiring of new teachers during election periods and partly reverse this during politically safer points in the electoral cycle. Cycles are mediated by issue salience: heightened attention to German public schooling after the notorious PISA-2000 tests further strengthens the manipulation of new teacher hiring for electoral purposes.

Keywords: Public Education, Teacher Employment, Political-Economic Cycles, German Federalism, Electioneering, Honeymooning

JEL Classification: D72, I28

Suggested Citation

Tepe, Markus S. and Vanhuysse, Pieter, Educational Business Cycles: The Political Economy of Teacher Hiring Across German States, 1992-2004 (April 8, 2008). Public Choice, Vol. 139, pp. 61-82, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1031632

Markus S. Tepe (Contact Author)

University of Oldenburg ( email )

Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118
Oldenburg, DE D-26111
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tepems.de

Pieter Vanhuysse

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK 5230 Odense
Denmark

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