Public-sector Unions and Government Policy: Reexamining the Effects of Political Contributions and Collective Bargaining Rights

Source: George R. Crowley, Scott A. Beaulier, Public Finance Review, Published online before print July 15, 2016
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From the abstract:
Recent events, including the failed recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Chicago teachers strike, have shed light on the relationship between state fiscal policy and public-sector union power. While a literature has developed focusing on various aspects of the link between public-sector unions and government policy, scholars have yet to reach consensus. In most cases, public-sector unions have multiple tools they can use to influence policy. We find that union political contributions and collective bargaining are associated with higher incomes for state and local employees and with higher public employment, both across state and local governments overall as well as within the education sector. We also find relatively little evidence that union activity influences total spending.