Public Choice

, Volume 139, Issue 1–2, pp 61–82 | Cite as

Educational business cycles

The political economy of teacher hiring across German states, 1992–2004
  • Markus TepeEmail author
  • Pieter Vanhuysse


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.


Public education Teacher employment Political-economic cycles German federalism Electioneering Honeymooning 

JEL Classification

D72 I28 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business & EconomicsFree University BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.School of Political Sciences and Faculty of EducationUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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