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The Effect of Teachers' Unions on Student Achievement: Evidence from Wisconsin's Act 10

36 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2017 Last revised: 19 Aug 2017

E. Jason Baron

Florida State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 18, 2017

Abstract

I estimate the causal effect of a weakening of teachers' unions on student achievement by exploiting a quasi-experiment that took place in Wisconsin following the enactment of Act 10, a measure that significantly limited the bargaining power of teachers' unions. Specifically, I exploit variation in the length of pre-Act 10 collective bargaining agreements among school districts that led to differences in the timing of exposure to Act 10. I find that test scores on Wisconsin's standardized exam decreased by approximately 30% of a standard deviation in low-performing schools, but find no evidence that the law impacted high-performing schools.

Keywords: Public Sector Unions, Collective Bargaining, Student Achievement, Economics of Education

JEL Classification: I20, I28, J45, J50

Suggested Citation

Baron, E. Jason, The Effect of Teachers' Unions on Student Achievement: Evidence from Wisconsin's Act 10 (August 18, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3001417 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3001417

E. Jason Baron (Contact Author)

Florida State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 30306-2180
United States
9207132992 (Phone)

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