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Does Union Membership Really Reduce Job Satisfaction?

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  • Alex Bryson
  • Lorenzo Cappellari
  • Claudio Lucifora

Abstract

We investigate the effect of union membership on job satisfaction. Using linked employer-employee data from the 1998 British Workplace Employee Relations Survey, we analyse the relationship between the membership decision and overall job satisfaction and satisfaction with pay. In this paper we account for the endogenous selection induced by the sorting of workers into unionized jobs. Controlling for both individual and establishment heterogeneity and explicitly modelling the effect of union status, we find that the marked difference in job satisfaction between unionized and non-unionized workers disappears, suggesting that a selection effect, rather than a causal effect, characterizes the relationship. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2004.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics in its journal British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Volume (Year): 42 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 439-459

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Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:42:y:2004:i:3:p:439-459

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  1. Alex Bryson, 2002. "The union membership wage premium: an analysis using propensity score matching," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 4953, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  3. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  4. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-41, May.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1979. "Job Satisfaction, Wages, and Unions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 21-40.
  6. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  7. Keith A. Bender & Peter J. Sloane, 1998. "Job satisfaction, trade unions, and exit-voice revisited," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(2), pages 222-240, January.
  8. repec:fth:prinin:452 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora & Giulio Piccirilli, 2004. "Union Activism, Workers' Satisfaction and Organizational Change," LABOUR, CEIS, CEIS, vol. 18(1), pages 1-28, 03.
  10. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  11. Michael E. Gordon & Angelo S. Denisi, 1995. "A re-examination of the relationship between union membership and job satisfaction," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 222-236, January.
  12. Miller, Paul W, 1990. "Trade Unions and Job Satisfaction," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(55), pages 226-48, December.
  13. Joni Hersch & Joe A. Stone, 1990. "Is Union Job Dissatisfaction Real?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4).
  14. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1998. "Comparison-concave utility and following behaviour in social and economic settings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-155, October.
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