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The Wage Impact Of Teachers Unions: A Meta†Analysis

Author

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  • Jessica S. Merkle
  • Michelle Andrea Phillips

Abstract

The literature examining the impact of teachers unions on education is very large and diverse. We meta†analyze the literature on the wage impacts of teachers unions to try to draw out general findings, the importance of empirical model specification, and samples. A key finding of this study is that the average wage impact estimated by the included papers is modest, around 2%–4.5%. Our findings also suggest that the quality of an empirical strategy significantly affects the size of the estimated impact. We find that teachers union wage impacts have varied over time. The largest impacts appear to be following the rapid expansion of teacher unionism in the 1970s. Finally, we gain new insight into the goals of teachers unions by using the increased statistical power of meta†analytic techniques to show that unions increase the wages of new teachers and not just senior teachers. (JEL J51, I21, I30)

Suggested Citation

  • Jessica S. Merkle & Michelle Andrea Phillips, 2018. "The Wage Impact Of Teachers Unions: A Meta†Analysis," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 93-115, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:36:y:2018:i:1:p:93-115
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/coep.12234
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard B. Freeman & Casey Ichniowski, 1988. "When Public Sector Workers Unionize," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free88-1, June.
    2. John V. Winters, 2011. "Teacher Salaries and Teacher Unions: A Spatial Econometric Approach," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(4), pages 747-764, July.
    3. Stoddard, Christiana, 2005. "Adjusting teacher salaries for the cost of living: the effect on salary comparisons and policy conclusions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 323-339, June.
    4. Simeon Djankov & Peter Murrell, 2002. "Enterprise Restructuring in Transition: A Quantitative Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 739-792, September.
    5. Goldhaber, Dan & Choi, Hyung-Jai & Cramer, Lauren, 2007. "A descriptive analysis of the distribution of NBPTS-certified teachers in North Carolina," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 160-172, April.
    6. Freeman, Richard B. & Ichniowski, Casey (ed.), 1988. "When Public Sector Workers Unionize," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226261669, July.
    7. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    8. Duplantis, Malcolm M. & Chandler, Timothy D. & Geske, Terry G., 1995. "The growth and impact of teachers' unions in states without collective bargaining legislation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 167-178, June.
    9. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1996. "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 671-718.
    10. Katharine O. Strunk, 2011. "Are Teachers' Unions Really to Blame? Collective Bargaining Agreements and Their Relationships with District Resource Allocation and Student Performance in California," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(3), pages 354-398, July.
    11. Jon Nelson & Peter Kennedy, 2009. "The Use (and Abuse) of Meta-Analysis in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Assessment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 345-377, March.
    12. West, Kristine Lamm & Mykerezi, Elton, 2011. "Teachers' unions and compensation: The impact of collective bargaining on salary schedules and performance pay schemes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 99-108, February.
    13. Steven G. Allen, 1986. "Unionization and Productivity in Office Building and School Construction," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(2), pages 187-201, January.
    14. Stephen B. Jarrell & T. D. Stanley, 1990. "A Meta-Analysis of the Union-Nonunion Wage Gap," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 54-67, October.
    15. David B. Lipsky & John E. Drotning, 1973. "The Influence of Collective Bargaining on Teachers' Salaries in New York State," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 27(1), pages 18-35, October.
    16. Freeman, Richard B, 1986. "Unionism Comes to the Public Sector," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 41-86, March.
    17. 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.
    18. Clotfelter, Charles T. & Ladd, Helen F. & Vigdor, Jacob, 2005. "Who teaches whom? Race and the distribution of novice teachers," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 377-392, August.
    19. Peter Dolton & Martin Robson, 1996. "Trade Union Concentration and the Determination of Wages: The Case of Teachers in England and Wales," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 539-555, December.
    20. Moore, William J & Raisian, John, 1987. "Union-N onunion Wage Differentials in the Public Administration, Educational, and Private Sectors: 1970-1983," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 608-616, November.
    21. Hirschel Kasper, 1970. "The Effects of Collective Bargaining on Public School Teachers' Salaries," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 24(1), pages 57-72, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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