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R&D and unionism: Comparative evidence from British companies and establishments

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Author Info

  • Naercio Menezes-Filho
  • David Ulph
  • John Van Reenen

Abstract

U.S. research has found that unionization adversely affects research and development investment, consistent with the view that labor unions' rent-seeking activities act as a tax on innovation. In this U.K. study, preliminary analysis of two datasets (a cross-section of plants and a company panel for the years 1983-90) shows the same negative correlation. This correlation completely disappears, however, when controls are included for such factors as cohort effects and the availability of innovative technology in the industry. Moreover, R and D intensity appears to have been higher in enterprises where there were low levels of union density than in those where there was no union presence. Some evidence suggests that the difference between U.K and U.S. results may be due to cross-country differences in the prioritization of non-pay issues in bargaining. (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): 52 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 45-63

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:52:y:1998:i:1:p:45-63

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Cited by:
  1. Stephen Bond & Dietmar Harhoff & John Van Reenen, 2003. "Investment, R&D and Financial Constraints in Britain and Germany," CEP Discussion Papers dp0595, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Tapio Palokangas, 2008. "Economic Integration, Lobbying by Firms and Workers, and Technological Change," DEGIT Conference Papers c013_003, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  3. Davide Antonioli & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2009. "Techno-organisational strategies, environmental innovations and economic performances. Micro-evidence from an SME-based industrial district," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 145-168.
  4. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Katalin Evers & Lutz Bellmann, 2013. "Collective Bargaining and Innovation in Germany: Cooperative Industrial Relations?," GEMF Working Papers 2014-01, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  5. Addison, John T. & Heywood, John S. & Wei, Xiangdong, 2001. "Unions and Plant Closings in Britain: New Evidence from the 1990/98 WERS," IZA Discussion Papers 352, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Palokangas, Tapio K., 2005. "Economic Integration, Market Power and Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 1592, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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