Strike Essay

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Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network Working Paper No. 111 Industrial Actions in Schools: Strikes and Student Achievement Michael Baker University of Toronto February 2013 CLSRN is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) under its Strategic Knowledge Clusters Program. Research activities of CLSRN are carried out with support of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). All opinions are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of HRSDC or the SSHRC. Industrial Actions in Schools: Strikes and Student Achievement University of Toronto September 2012 Abstract: Many jurisdictions ban teacher strikes on the assumption that they negatively affect student achievement, but there is surprisingly little research on this question. The majority of existing studies make cross section comparisons of the achievement of students who do or do not experience a strike. They conclude that strikes do not have an impact. I present new estimates of this impact of strikes using an empirical strategy that controls for fixed student characteristics at the school cohort level, and a sample of industrial actions by teachers in the province of Ontario. The results indicate that teacher strikes in grades 5 or 6 have negative, statistically significant impact on test score growth between grade 3 and grade 6. The largest impact is on math scores: 29 percent of the standard deviation of test scores across school/grade cohorts. JEL Codes: Keywords: I28, J13 Child development, human capital, universal access I thank David Green, the referees and seminar participants at Dalhousie for helpful comments. The EQAO test scores were accessed through the Public Economics Data Analysis Laboratory at McMaster University. Abigail Payne generously shared her knowledge of these data. I am

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