Teacher Unionization Hurts Boys, Especially Minorities


Iain Murray highlights part the abstract from a new paper by Cornell researchers:

The earnings estimates for men indicate that teacher collective bargaining reduces earnings by $149.6 billion in the US annually. Among men, we also find evidence of lower employment rates, which is driven by lower labor force participation. Exposure to collective bargaining laws leads to reductions in the skill levels of the occupations into which male workers sort as well. Effects are largest among black and Hispanic men, although white and Asian men also experience sizable negative impacts of collective bargaining exposure. Using data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we demonstrate that collective bargaining law exposure leads to reductions in measured cognitive and non-cognitive skills among young adults, and these effects are larger for men.

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In other words, exposure to unionized teachers in one way or another tends to reduce boys’ exposure to the skills that men tend more often to need on the job and generally lower abilities, especially in minority populations.

That seems like a data point that ought to be part of the public discussion on education.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    Thinking of teachers brought to mind a Phys. Ed. teacher/coach I had in middle school. He was known to have one glass eye. Being boys, we speculated about the effect of hitting him in the head with a basketball. I learned only recently that he had one eye blown out at Normandy; in fact he laid on the beach almost two days before it was realized that he was still alive. Thinking back, many of my male teachers were of an age where they could have gotten their teaching degree under the G.I. Bill. I wonder if we didn’t get a different kind of guy in the teaching racket in those days.

    • stuckinRI

      “I wonder if we didn’t get a different kind of guy in the teaching racket in those days” – of course you did. The entire profession has changed so much, (for the most part) I’m sure it attracts a much different type of person now than it did even 30,40 or 50 yrs ago.