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Unionization and Productivity: Evidence from Charter Schools

  • Hart, Cassandra M. D.

    ()

    (University of California, Davis)

  • Sojourner, Aaron J.

    ()

    (University of Minnesota)

This paper studies the relationship between teacher unionization and student achievement. Generally stable patterns of teacher unionization since the 1970s have historically presented challenges in measuring the effects of unionization on educational production. However, the blossoming of the charter school sector in recent decades provides fertile ground for study because while most charters are non-union, teachers at some charters have unionized. Using a generalized difference-in-difference approach combining California union certification data with student achievement data from 2003-2012, we find that, aside from a one-year dip in achievement associated with the unionization process itself, unionization does not affect student achievement.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7887.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7887.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Industrial Relations
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7887
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  1. Sojourner, Aaron J., 2012. "Do Unions Promote Members' Electoral Office Holding? Evidence from Correlates of State Legislatures' Occupational Shares," IZA Discussion Papers 6479, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2007. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," NBER Working Papers 13670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Richard B. Freeman & Morris M. Kleiner, 1990. "Employer behavior in the face of union organizing drives," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(4), pages 351-365, April.
  5. Eric A. Hanushek, 2010. "The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality," NBER Working Papers 16606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1996. "Why do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "Does Competition among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1209-1238, December.
  9. Aaron J. Sojourner & Robert J. Town & David C. Grabowski & Michelle M. Chen, 2012. "Impacts of Unionization on Employment, Product Quality and Productivity: Regression Discontinuity Evidence From Nursing Homes," NBER Working Papers 17733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rose, Heather & Sonstelie, Jon, 2010. "School board politics, school district size, and the bargaining power of teachers' unions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 438-450, May.
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