The Long-run Effects of Teacher Strikes: Evidence from Argentina

Abstract

This is the first paper to estimate the effect of teacher strikes on student long-run educational  attainment and labor market outcomes. We exploit cross-cohort variation in the prevalence of teacher strikes within and across provinces in Argentina in a difference-in-difference framework to examine how exposure to teacher strikes during primary school affects long-run outcomes. We find robust evidence that teacher strikes worsen the labor market outcomes of these individuals when they are between the ages of 30 and 40: being exposed to the average incidence of teacher strikes during primary school (88 days) reduces annual labor market earnings by 2.99 percent. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that this amounts to an aggregate earnings loss of $712 million in Argentina annually. This is equivalent to the cost of raising the average annual employment income of all primary school teachers in Argentina by 19 percent. We also find evidence of a decline in hourly wage, an increase in unemployment, an increase in the probability of not working or studying and a decline in the skill levels of the occupations into which students sort. Examining short- and long-run educational outcomes suggests that the labor market effects are driven, at least in part, by a reduction in educational attainment. Our analysis further identifies significant intergenerational treatment effects. Children of adults who were exposed to teacher strikes during primary school also experience adverse educational attainment effects.

Fuente: CEDLAS

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