TITLE: School Board Politics, School District Size, and the Bargaining Power of the Teachers’ Unions

AUTHORS: Heather Rose and Jon Sonstelie

PAGES: 51      DATE: May 2006

ABSTRACT: This paper develops a public-choice model of the bargaining power of teachers' unions. The model predicts that the power of the unions rises with the number of eligible voters in a district. As a bargaining outcome reflecting this power, we use the experience premium for teachers. The premium is defined as the difference in salary between experienced and inexperienced teachers. For a sample of 771 California school districts in 1999-2000, a district's premium is positively related to the number of voters, a finding consistent with the model's prediction.

PPIC working papers present work in progress and may not be quoted or cited without permission of the author. Comments or suggestions, however, are welcome.

To order a working paper, please call or email Jennifer Paluch, Policy Research Operations Manager at (415) 291-4416.