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Unions without rents: the curious economics of faculty unions


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  • Arthur Hosios
  • Aloysius Siow


We show that Canadian faculty unions have had no effect on university revenues, only a small positive effect on earnings, a negative effect on research output, and lead to earnings redistributions across disciplines and ranks. We argue that faculty unions have a negligible positive (and often negative) effect on average faculty wages, because a union that promotes the median faculty member's welfare negotiates wage redistributions and more onerous teaching conditions, despite the negative impact these changes have on research output. Average wages may rise, but only because non-unionized universities trade off wages against the non-pecuniary benefits from research and teaching.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 28-52

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:37:y:2004:i:1:p:28-52

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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
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Cited by:
  1. Felice Martinello, 2006. "University Revenues and Faculty Salaries in Ontario: 1970/71­2003/04," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 32(4), pages 349-372, December.
  2. James B. Davies & Matthias Sutter & Martin G. Kocher, 2005. "Economics research in Canada: A long-run assessment of journal publications," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-16, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  3. Steven Henson & John Krieg & Charles Wassell & David Hedrick, 2012. "Collective Bargaining and Community College Faculty: What Is the Wage Impact?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 104-117, March.
  4. Felice Martinello, 2009. "Faculty Salaries in Ontario: Compression, Inversion, and the Effects of Alternative Forms of Representation," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(1), pages 128, October.


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