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Why So Unhappy? The Effects of Unionization on Job Satisfaction

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Author Info

  • Alex Bryson
  • Lorenzo Cappellari
  • Claudio Lucifora

Abstract

Using linked employer-employee data we investigate the job satisfaction effect of union membership in Britain. We develop a model that simultaneously controls for the determinants of individual membership status and for the selection of employees into occupations according to union coverage. We find a negative association between membership and satisfaction. However, having accounted for selection effects, we find that the negative association is confined to non-covered employees. This is consistent with 'voice' effects, whereby non-covered members voice dissatisfaction to achieve union goals, and with the possibility that membership increases preferences for collective bargaining, thus lowering members' satisfaction in non-covered environments. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the Department of Economics, University of Oxford, 2010.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0084.2010.00587.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 72 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (06)
Pages: 357-380

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:72:y:2010:i:3:p:357-380

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References

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  1. Joni Hersch & Joe A. Stone, 1990. "Is Union Job Dissatisfaction Real?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4).
  2. Alex Bryson & Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora, 2003. "Does Union Membership Really Reduce Job Satisfaction?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0569, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "The union membership wage-premium puzzle: Is there a free rider problem?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(3), pages 402-421, April.
  4. Andrew Clark, . "Job Satisfaction and Gender. Why are Women so Happy at Work?," Economics Discussion Papers 415, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  5. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence From Matching," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20033, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  6. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Segmentation, Switching Costs and the Demand for Unionization in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0568, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. John S. Heywood & W. S. Siebert & Xiangdong Wei, 2002. "Worker sorting and job satisfaction: The case of union and government jobs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(4), pages 595-609, July.
  8. 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.
  9. John M. Abowd & Henry S. Farber, 1982. "Job queues and the union status of workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 354-367, April.
  10. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00272017 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Erling Barth & Alex Bryson & Harald Dale-Olsen, 2009. "How Does Innovation Affect Worker Well-being?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0953, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. repec:lan:wpaper:3161 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Fiorillo, D; & Nappo, N;, 2011. "Job satisfaction in Italy: Individual characteristics and social relations," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/09, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  5. Haile, Getinet Astatike, 2009. "Workplace Job Satisfaction in Britain: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4101, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Alex Bryson & Richard Freeman, 2013. "Employee Perceptions of Working Conditions and the Desire for Worker Representation in Britain and the US," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 1-29, March.
  7. repec:lan:wpaper:2914 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Haile, Getinet Astatike & Bryson, Alex & White, Michael, 2012. "Heterogeneity in Union Status and Employee Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 7075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00311365 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. C Green & J S Heywood, 2010. "Unions, Dissatisfied Workers and Sorting," Working Papers 615292, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  11. repec:ese:iserwp:2008-30 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. repec:lan:wpaper:2912 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Benjamin Artz, 2010. "Fringe benefits and job satisfaction," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(6), pages 626-644, September.
  14. Christine Erhel & Lucie Davoine, 2007. "La qualité de l'emploi en Europe : une approche comparative et dynamique," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 410(1), pages 47-69.
  15. Benjamin Artz, 2008. "Fringe Benefits and Job Satisfaction," Working Papers 08-03, UW-Whitewater, Department of Economics.

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