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Industrial actions in schools: strikes and student achievement

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  • Michael Baker

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 crosssection 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 a negative, statistically significant impact on test score growth between grade 3 and grade 6. The largest impact is on math scores: 29% of the standard deviation of test scores across school/grade cohorts.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:46:y:2013:i:3:p:1014-1036
    DOI: 10.1111/caje.12035
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    2. 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.
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    8. 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.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2015. "When Labor Disputes Bring Cities to a Standstill: The Impact of Public Transit Strikes on Traffic, Accidents, Air Pollution, and Health," CESifo Working Paper Series 5313, CESifo.
    2. Piero Montebruno, 2020. "Disrupted schooling: impacts on achievement from the Chilean school occupations," CEP Discussion Papers dp1696, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2017. "When Labor Disputes Bring Cities to a Standstill: The Impact of Public Transit Strikes on Traffic, Accidents, Air Pollution, and Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, February.
    4. Harold E. Cuffe & Glen R. Waddell & Wesley Bignell, 2017. "Can School Sports Reduce Racial Gaps In Truancy And Achievement?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1966-1985, October.
    5. Martin Gustafsson & Carol Nuga Deliwe, 2020. "How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting educational quality in South Africa? Evidence to date and future risks," Working Papers 23/2020, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. Michael Baker, 2013. "Industrial actions in schools: strikes and student achievement," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 46(3), pages 1014-1036, August.
    8. Giorgio Di Pietro & Federico Biagi & Patricia Costa & Zbigniew Karpinski & Jacopo Mazza, 2020. "The likely impact of COVID-19 on education: Reflections based on the existing literature and recent international datasets," JRC Working Papers JRC121071, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    9. Darmody, Merike & Smyth, Emer & Russell, Helen, 2020. "The implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for policy in relation to children and young people: a research review," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number SUSTAT94, November.
    10. Ludger Wößmann, 2020. "Folgekosten ausbleibenden Lernens: Was wir über die Corona-bedingten Schulschließungen aus der Forschung lernen können," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 73(06), pages 38-44, June.
    11. Silke Anger & Malte Sandner & Alexander M. Danzer & Axel Plünnecke & Olaf Köller & Enzo Weber & Samuel Mühlemann & Harald Pfeifer & Bernhard Wittek, 2020. "Schulschließungen, fehlende Ausbildungsplätze, keine Jobs: Generation ohne Zukunft?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 73(09), pages 03-24, September.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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