Economists: Bonuses Good for Bankers but NOT for Teachers!

As of 2008, 48% of public school teachers in this country had a master's degree or above, and nearly every one of them got a bonus of between $1,423 and $10,777 each year, according to research from the University of Washington.

Most school budgets have been tight for years, with districts trimming everything from printing to teachers.

Michael Podgursky, an economics professor at the University of Missouri, said the economic downturn may force payroll reform in some places where the political will has been lacking. And they don't have to blow up the old system to do it, he said.

"We're experimenting now," he said, noting pay-for-performance experiments in New York City, Houston and Nashville.

American teacher pay has been structured the same way in every state since before World War II. Before then, high school teachers were paid more than primary school instructors. Establishing one pay rate was a feminist issue since teachers in the younger grades used to be mostly women and most high school teachers were men.

Even in states where teacher pay is set by the school district according to market factors, the pay schedule has been the same way for many decades, Podgursky said.

Debating a change could be more controversial and unpopular than cutting chocolate milk from the school cafeteria menu.

But education economists believe this idea can't be ignored forever, because teacher pay is the biggest part of education budgets and the salary schedule drives that spending.

So it seems that bonuses are good for bankers, hedge funds managers, traders, and other Wall Street personnel. However, not so for our teachers?

Please read more here.

PricewaterhouseCoopers: Executive Compensation & Corporate Governance

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Professor Alex Wagner - a very sharp professor at the Swiss Finance Institute, University of Zurich.

Today Dr. Wagner presented to the press a new study on executive compensation in Switzerland.

Dr. Wagner collaborated with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partners to produce a popular study and an academic study on the impact of "say-on-pay" on share prices.

If you are interested, this PwC study is available (in English) here .