New Evidence on the Effects of Teachers' Unions on Student Outcomes, Teacher Labor Markets, and the Allocation of School Resources
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
In spite of this renewed concern over the role of teachers’ unions, there is relatively little rigorous empirical evidence on the effects of teachers’ unions, and what research there is reaches mixed conclusions with regards to the effects of teacher unionization and collective bargaining (e.g., Hoxby 1996; Lovenheim 2009; Strunk 2011; Fransden 2016). This session for the Association of Public Policy and Management 39th Annual Fall Conference includes four new studies that bring novel and rigorous evidence to the debate over the effects of teachers’ unions on student outcomes, teacher labor markets, and the allocation of school resources.
The first two papers provide new evidence on the effects of teachers’ unions in Tennessee and California. The first paper by Laura Quinby examines the effects of the prohibition of collective bargaining rights in Tennessee in 2011 on the teacher labor market. The second paper by Katharine Strunk, Bradley Marianno, and Paul Bruno examines the effects of collective bargaining agreement strength on school districts’ allocation of resources and efficiency of spending. The second pair of papers examine effects nationally: The third paper by Eric Brunner, Joshua Hyman, and Andrew Ju examines how teachers’ unions influenced the change in the allocation of school resources brought about by school finance reforms during the past thirty years. Finally, the fourth paper by Michael Lovenheim and Alexander Willen provides the first empirical evidence on the effects of teacher collective bargaining on students’ long-run labor market outcomes.
The four papers in this session tackle the issue of teachers’ unions and their effects from very different methodological perspectives and in a variety of local, state and national policy settings. Together with the session chair and discussants, the participants represent a mix of experts on teachers’ unions and education policy from a wide variety of disciplines, including education, public policy, political science, and economics. In addition, every paper in the session includes at least one author who is a graduate student. This session brings together researchers from these different disciplines and levels of experience to include some of the most promising new research to inform the controversial debate over the effects of teachers’ unions and collective bargaining in the US education system.