The Relative Contract Position of School Teachers: An Analysis of Public Union vs. Non-Union Schools
In this article:
2. DEA Model for Average Teacher Salary
3. Theoretical Insights and Econometric Model of Relative Contract Position
4. Data and Results
Nationwide, most public school teachers are paid according to a uniform salary schedule determined by their school or district. While this precludes variation in salaries over teachers of identical qualifications within a school, there is variation across schools in the parameters of the salary schedules. We adapt nonparametric programming techniques to analyze the determinants of school-level teacher salaries. For each school, a lower and upper bound of average salary is identified given the school’s teacher characteristics. Observed average teacher salary then identifies the relative contract position of the school within the space bounded by those two frontiers. Our sample consists of 132 public schools in Ohio that enroll students in each grade between kindergarten and eighth grade, including both public “community schools” with non-unionized staff and traditional public schools with unionized teachers. Our results indicate that unionized school teachers earn more on average than community school teachers after controlling for experience, education and student, school, and community characteristics.