Students earn less in states with forced collective bargaining

Teachers' unions insist they have students' best interests at heart when it comes to politics, but new evidence suggests collective bargaining is harming students.

Students end up earning less if they are educated in states where school districts are forced to collectively bargain with a teachers' union, according to a new study published Tuesday in Education Next. They are also less likely to find a job.

The study is the first evidence on how collective bargaining affects students' employment and earnings prospects in adulthood. The news for teachers' unions is not good.

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"Laws requiring school districts to engage in collective bargaining with teachers unions lead students to be less successful in the labor market in adulthood," authors Michael Lovenheim and Alexander Willén write in the study. "Students who spent all 12 years of grade school in a state with a duty-to-bargain law earned an average of $795 less per year and worked half an hour less per week as adults than students who were not exposed to collective bargaining laws.

"They are 0.9 percentage points less likely to be employed and 0.8 percentage points less likely to be in the labor force. And those with jobs tend to work in lower-skilled occupations."

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