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The Effect of Teachers' Unions on Education Production: Evidence from Union Election Certifications in Three Midwestern States

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  • Michael F. Lovenheim

Abstract

Using a unique data set on teachers' union election certifications from Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota, I estimate the effect of teachers' unions on school district resources and on student educational attainment. My empirical strategy allows for nonparametric leads and lags of union age. I find no impact on teacher pay or per student district expenditures but that unions increase teacher employment by 5%. I find no class size effect because of enrollment increases in unionized districts, and I estimate that unions have no net effect on high school dropout rates. These findings highlight the importance of correctly measuring unionization status. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:27:y:2009:i:4:p:525-587
    DOI: 10.1086/605653
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