“Duty-to-bargain” laws require school districts to negotiate with teachers unions in good faith. A recent study finds that being exposed to such laws for all 12 years of schooling reduces male earnings by almost $1,500 per year. Multiplying this reduction by the number of men in all 33 duty-to-bargain states leads to a yearly earnings reduction of $150 billion total. These adverse effects are also significantly larger for African American and Hispanic men. Thus, teacher collective bargaining negatively affects the long-run labor market outcomes of men and exacerbates racial and ethnic disparities due to the disproportionate impact on non-whites. Interestingly, researchers do not find any effects on women. To learn more about how collective bargaining affects students later in life, read “A Bad Bargain” by Michael F. Lovenheim and Alexander Willén, or view our interactive to see how collective bargaining works throughout the U.S.

—Education Next

Last updated March 16, 2018