New York Economic Review


Unions, Right-to-Work Laws, and Job Satisfaction in the Teaching Profession

Mark Gius

vol. 44, Fall 2013, p. 20-31


The purpose of the present study is to determine if union status has any effects on job satisfaction for a sample of public school teachers. The present study differs from prior research in that it assumes union membership is endogenous and uses as an instrumental variable state-level right-to-work laws. Although it was found that union membership has an insignificant effect on overall job satisfaction, teachers in unions were found to be more enthusiastic about teaching and were less likely to leave for better pay. It was also found that teachers who earned higher incomes, who were women, and who worked in schools that had fewer students, or teachers who were minorities were more satisfied with their jobs. It was also found that teachers who worked in schools that had merit or performance-pay were less enthusiastic about teaching and were more likely to transfer to another school. Finally, results provided further support of the exit-voice hypothesis in that long-term union members were found to be more dissatisfied with their jobs.


suggested citation:

Mark Gius. "Unions, Right-to-Work Laws, and Job Satisfaction in the Teaching Profession." New York Economic Review. vol. 44, Fall 2013, p. 20-31

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