Innis Lecture: Unions and the Economy: What We Know; What We Should Know
AbstractThe wages and working conditions of about one in three Canadian workers are determined by collective bargaining. In this paper, current knowledge about the economic effects of collective bargaining is surveyed. Unions raise wages (by about 15 percent on average) and reduce wage dispersion for their members while also reducing profits. Unions do not seem to reduce employment levels in affected firms or cause nonunion wages to fall. Efficiency losses due to sectoral misallocation of labor and to strikes are small but some evidence suggests lowered investment in unionized firms. Union effects on total factor productivity need more careful study using firm-level data.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 31 (1998)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Canadian Economics Association Prof. Steven Ambler, Secretary-Treasurer c/o Olivier Lebert, CEA/CJE/CPP Office C.P. 35006, 1221 Fleury Est Montréal, Québec, Canada H2C 3K4
Web page: http://economics.ca/cje/
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
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- Greer, Mark, 2009. "Is it the labor unions' fault? Dissecting the causes of the impaired technical efficiencies of the legacy carriers in the United States," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(9-10), pages 779-789, November.
- Gary Charness & Peter J. Kuhn, 2010.
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- Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
- Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter J., 2010. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," IZA Discussion Papers 4941, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Nicholas Lawson, 2011. "Is Collective Bargaining Pareto Efficient? A Survey of the Literature," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 282-304, September.
- David Metcalf, 2002. "Unions and productivity, financial performance and investment: international evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20072, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang & Wang, Yijiang, 2010. "Union effects on performance and employment relations: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 202-210, March.
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