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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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. MacLeod, W. Bentley, 2011. "Great Expectations: Law, Employment Contracts, and Labor Market Performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    2. repec:bla:coecpo:v:36:y:2018:i:1:p:93-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:5:p:654-688 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Norman Baldwin & Stephen Borrelli, 2008. "Education and economic growth in the United States: cross-national applications for an intra-national path analysis," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 41(3), pages 183-204, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Cassandra M.D. Hart & Aaron J. Sojourner, 2015. "Unionization and Productivity: Evidence from Charter Schools," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 422-448, July.
    7. Kristine L. West, 2015. "Teachers’ Unions, Compensation, and Tenure," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 294-320, April.
    8. 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.
    9. repec:eee:pubeco:v:158:y:2018:i:c:p:48-62 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Brunner, Eric J. & Squires, Tim, 2013. "The bargaining power of teachers’ unions and the allocation of school resources," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 15-27.
    11. Cowen, Joshua M. & Strunk, Katharine O., 2015. "The impact of teachers’ unions on educational outcomes: What we know and what we need to learn," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 208-223.
    12. Lott, Johnathan & Kenny, Lawrence W., 2013. "State teacher union strength and student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 93-103.
    13. Torberg Falch & Astrid Marie Jorde Sandsør & Bjarne Strøm, 2017. "Do Smaller Classes Always Improve Students’ Long-run Outcomes?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(5), pages 654-688, October.
    14. Britton, Jack & Propper, Carol, 2016. "Teacher pay and school productivity: Exploiting wage regulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 75-89.
    15. Michael Lovenheim & Alexander Willén, 2016. "The Long-run Effects of Teacher Collective Bargaining," CESifo Working Paper Series 5977, CESifo Group Munich.

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