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

  • Michael F. Lovenheim

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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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/605653
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 525-587

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:27:y:2009:i:4:p:525-587
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1996. "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 671-718.
  2. Henry S. Farber, 2003. "Nonunion Wage Rates and the Threat of Unionization," Working Papers 112, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. Ichniowski, Casey & Freeman, Richard B & Lauer, Harrison, 1989. "Collective Bargaining Laws, Threat Effects, and the Determination of Police Compensation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(2), pages 191-209, April.
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  5. Kahn, Lawrence M & Curme, Michael, 1987. "Unions and Nonunion Wage Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 600-607, November.
  6. Eberts, Randall W & Stone, Joe A, 1986. "Teacher Unions and the Cost of Public Education," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(4), pages 631-43, October.
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  8. 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, August.
  9. Henry Farber, 2003. "Nonunion Wage Rates and the Threat of Unionization," NBER Working Papers 9705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
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  16. David Neumark & Michael L. Wachter, 1995. "Union Effects on Nonunion Wages: Evidence from Panel Data on Industries and Cities," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(1), pages 20-38, October.
  17. William H. Baugh & Joe A. Stone, 1982. "Teachers, Unions, and Wages in the 1970s: Unionism Now Pays," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 368-376, April.
  18. Stephen A. Woodbury, 1985. "The Scope of Bargaining and Bargaining Outcomes in the Public Schools," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(2), pages 195-210, January.
  19. Richard B. Freeman & Casey Ichniowski, 1988. "When Public Sector Workers Unionize," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free88-1.
  20. Gregory M. Saltzman, 1985. "Bargaining Laws as a Cause and Consequence of the Growth of Teacher Unionism," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(3), pages 335-351, April.
  21. Bound, John, et al, 1994. "Evidence on the Validity of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Labor Market Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 345-68, July.
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  23. John DiNardo & David S. Lee, 2004. "Economic Impacts of New Unionization on Private Sector Employers: 1984–2001," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1383-1441.
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