Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date



Political framing of public policy is typically different than the actual effects of the policy. In the case of Act 10 there was an extremely negative perception from teachers in the state of Wisconsin especially when it came to their salaries despite little empirical difference in salaries. Wisconsin’s Act 10, which altered the state’s public-sector collective bargaining laws, provides a natural experiment to test the political framing of public policy. A survey was conducted of teachers across the state of Wisconsin to determine their opinions regarding Act 10 and salary data from Wisconsin and Missouri were collected for comparison. It was found that most teachers believe that Act 10 negatively affected their salaries, unions make them better educators, and Act 10 was incredibly negative for teachers in Wisconsin. This empirical work establishes a disconnect between the perceived impacts of Act 10 and the actual impacts as teacher salaries in Wisconsin have not decreased following the legislation despite strong beliefs of the contrary.

Level of Honors

magna cum laude






Arnold Shober, Jonathan Lhost