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Industrial and Labor Relations Review

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This study examines the impact of collective bargaining on salary setting in public school districts. Using a 1969-82 sample of Oregon school districts, the author focuses particularly on the roles of two factors before and after the introduction of collective bargaining: salary comparisons between school districts and school districts' ability and willingness to pay for education. No evidence is found that ability and willingness to pay influenced salary setting either before or after collective bargaining began, suggesting that bargaining does not serve to widen the gap in educational opportunity between wealthy and poor districts. On the other hand, inter-district salary comparisons significantly influenced salary setting throughout the period, but bargaining had little effect on the influence of that factor.

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