Do teacher strikes harm educational attainment of students?

Michèle Belot*, Dinand Webbink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the effects of a teacher strike on student achievement. From May 1990 until November 1990 teachers in the French community of Belgium stroked to obtain a salary increase. We exploit the political division of Belgium in a French community and a Flemish community, with similar educational institutions, for estimating the long-term effects of the strikes. Based on a difference-in-differences approach, using data from two different surveys, we find some evidence that the strikes reduced educational attainment and increased class repetition. We also find that the strikes led to a significant reallocation of students to a lower level of higher education. Overall, the results suggest that teacher strikes can lead to substantial costs for those not involved in the conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-406
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


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