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Union power, cost of job loss, and workers' effort

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Author Info

  • Francis Green
  • Steven McIntosh

Abstract

The authors hypothesize that the effectiveness of external threats in raising workers' effort is mediated by, among other labor market conditions, the presence or absence of a powerful union. In particular, they argue that because powerful unions reduce the potency of the external threat of job loss (by making it more difficult for employers to dismiss workers), the pace of work is less responsive to such a threat in strongly unionized plants than in weakly unionized plants. The results of an analysis of data from the 1990 Workplace Industrial Relations Survey in Britain support this hypothesis. The analysis also yields evidence that effort is increased where workers are rewarded individually according to results, and where there are various communication channels between workers and management. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 51 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 363-383

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:51:y:1998:i:3:p:363-383

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Cited by:
  1. Francis Green, 2000. "Why has Work Effort become more intense? Conjectures and Evidence about Effort-Biased Technical Change and other stories," Studies in Economics 0003, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  2. Frederick Guy & Peter Skottz, 2005. "Power-Biased Technological Change and the Rise in Earnings Inequality," Working Papers 06, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. Francis Green, 2002. "Why Has Work Effort Become More Intense?," Studies in Economics 0207, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  4. Frederick Guy & Peter Skott, 2008. "Information and Communications Technologies, Coordination and Control, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 17(3-4), pages 71-92, September.
  5. Fumio Ohtake, 2003. "Unions, the Costs of Job Loss, and Vacation," NBER Chapters, in: Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States, pages 371-390 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michelle Brown & John Heywood, 2009. "Helpless in Finance: The Cost of Helping Effort Among Bank Employees," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 176-195, June.
  7. Green, Francis & McIntosh, Steven, 2001. "The intensification of work in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 291-308, May.
  8. Peter Skott & Frederick Guy, 2007. "Power, productivity and profits," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2007-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  9. Francis Green, 1999. "It's been a hard day's night: The concentration and intensification of work in late 20th century Britain," Studies in Economics 9913, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  10. Nancy Bertaux & Hervé Queneau, 2002. "The social economics of job security," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 1-19, September.

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