The Impact of Teacher Strikes on High School Students in the United States

37 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2023

See all articles by Dustin White

Dustin White

University of Nebraska at Omaha - Department of Economics

Jamie Wagner

University of Nebraska at Omaha - Department of Economics

Eduardo Cenci

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Megan Harris

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Date Written: September 12, 2023

Abstract

Teacher strikes reduce the number of school days and interrupt instruction, yet there is scarce evidence on how teacher strikes impact observable measures of students’ performance. Using data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 and information gathered about teacher strikes from the 2009-10 to 2012-13 school years, we find that each day of school missed due to teacher strikes is associated with a 0.015-point decline in GPA for affected students. The typical strike corresponds to a 0.158-point GPA drop for affected students. Low-performing students are also significantly less likely to graduate after a strike. We leverage information on parent and student expectations of their educational attainment to show that those expectations are unaffected by strikes, suggesting that omitted variables are unlikely to cause the observed changes in GPA and graduation rates.

Keywords: education, graduation, high school, unions, strikes, teachers, human capital

JEL Classification: J52, J24, J58, I24

Suggested Citation

White, Dustin and Wagner, Jamie and Cenci, Eduardo and Harris, Megan, The Impact of Teacher Strikes on High School Students in the United States (September 12, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4569850 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4569850

Dustin White (Contact Author)

University of Nebraska at Omaha - Department of Economics ( email )

College of Business Administration
60th and Dodge Streets
Omaha, NE 68182
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.dustinrwhite.com

Jamie Wagner

University of Nebraska at Omaha - Department of Economics ( email )

College of Business Administration
6708 Pine St
Omaha, NE 68182
United States

Eduardo Cenci

University of Nebraska at Omaha

6708 Pine Street
Mammel Hall 332
Omaha, NE 68182
United States

Megan Harris

University of Nebraska at Omaha ( email )

College of Business Administration
60th and Dodge Streets
Omaha, NE 68182
United States

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