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Industrial Actions in Schools: Strikes and Student Achievement

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  • Baker, Michael
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    Abstract

    Many jurisdictions ban teacher strikes on the assumption that they negatively affect student achievement, but there is surprisingly little research on this question. The majority of existing studies make cross section comparisons of the achievement of students who do or do not experience a strike. They conclude that strikes do not have an impact. I present new estimates of this impact of strikes using an empirical strategy that controls for fixed student characteristics at the school cohort level, and a sample of industrial actions by teachers in the province of Ontario. The results indicate that teacher strikes in grades 5 or 6 have negative, statistically significant impact on test score growth between grade 3 and grade 6. The largest impact is on math scores: 29 percent of the standard deviation of test scores across school/grade cohorts.

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    File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%20111%20-%20Baker.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series CLSSRN working papers with number clsrn_admin-2013-8.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: 25 Feb 2013
    Date of revision: 25 Feb 2013
    Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2013-8

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    Web page: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/

    Related research

    Keywords: Child development; human capital; universal access;

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    1. Michael Baker, 2013. "Industrial actions in schools: strikes and student achievement," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(3), pages 1014-1036, August.
    2. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2009. "Are Teacher Absences Worth Worrying About in the United States?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 4(2), pages 115-149, April.
    3. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hoxby, Caroline Minter, 1996. "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 671-718, August.
    5. Michael F. Lovenheim, 2009. "The Effect of Teachers' Unions on Education Production: Evidence from Union Election Certifications in Three Midwestern States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(4), pages 525-587, October.
    6. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
    7. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
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