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Teacher unions, teacher pay and student performance in India: A pupil fixed effects approach

  • Kingdon, Geeta
  • Teal, Francis

This paper examines the relationship between teacher unionization, student achievement and teachers' pay using a cross-section of data from private schools in India. We use differences in student mark across subjects to identify within-pupil variation in achievement and find that union membership of the teacher is associated with reduced pupil achievement. We find no evidence this could be due to the unobservables not controlled for by this procedure. A school fixed effects equation of teacher pay shows that union membership raises pay and in this case too we find that remaining unobservables are unlikely to explain this outcome. We discuss the policy implications of the findings and show that the effectiveness of teacher credentials in improving teacher performance is linked to unionization.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 91 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 278-288

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:91:y:2010:i:2:p:278-288
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  1. Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra, 2008. "The literacy hour," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1441-1462, June.
  2. Randall W. Eberts & Joe A. Stone, 1987. "Teacher Unions and the Productivity of Public Schools," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(3), pages 354-363, April.
  3. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  4. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2008. "The role of cognitive skills in economic development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20454, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
  6. Robert J. Lemke, 2004. "Estimating the Union Wage Effect for Public School Teachers When All Teachers Are Unionized," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 273-291, Spring.
  7. Esther Duflo & Rema Hanna, 2006. "Monitoring works: Getting teachers to come to school," Framed Field Experiments 00142, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Geeta Kingdon & Francis Teal, 2004. "Does performance related pay for teachers improve student performance? Some evidence from India," Development and Comp Systems 0409009, EconWPA.
  9. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2007. "The progress of school education in India," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 168-195, Summer.
  10. Ballou, Dale, 2001. "Pay for performance in public and private schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 51-61, February.
  11. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1996. "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 671-718.
  12. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1998. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 6691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Randall W. Eberts, . "Teacher Unions and Student Performance: Help or Hindrance?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles rwe2007, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  14. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
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