This paper applies the theory of bureaucracy to a collective bargaining arrangement in the public education labor market. A cyclical voting model is used to explain homogeneous wage demands by education associations. The bilateral monopoly problem is explored under the assumption that educators bargain as "Niskanen-type" bureaus when local school boards lack the ability to quantity adjust between bargaining periods. Increased appropriations to educators are shown to accrue only to existing organization members with no new teachers hired to share in the gains. The results imply that arguments for lower student-teacher ratios are spurious, while the appropriation gains from collective bargaining could represent social waste.
Cook, Robert W. 1983. "Collective Bargaining and Public Education: A Public Choice Approach." E.C.R.S.B. 83-3. Robins School of Business White Paper Series. University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia.