The Effects of Graduate-Student Unionization on Stipends

37 Pages Posted: 9 May 2011

See all articles by Tom L. Schenk

Tom L. Schenk

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 17, 2010


Beginning in the 1970s, graduate assistants have organized labor unions. Presently, 38 universities have a graduate-student union. However, the effect graduate-student unions have on wages, wage variance, health benefits, and organizational structure is unknown. This study uses data from the Chronicle of Higher Education and government data to estimate the economic effects of unionization. By using a multilevel model is used to control for intra-university correlation of wages, this study concludes graduate unions are effective at raising stipends, but ineffective at lowering fees, providing health-care coverage, and lowering intra-university wage variance.

Keywords: graduate-student unions, multilevel model, wage variance, health care

JEL Classification: J51, I20

Suggested Citation

Schenk, Tom L., The Effects of Graduate-Student Unionization on Stipends (January 17, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Tom L. Schenk (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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