Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The union membership wage-premium puzzle: Is there a free rider problem?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Alison L. Booth
  • Mark L. Bryan

Abstract

Economists have long suggested that labor unions suffer a free rider problem. The argument is that, since union-set wages are available to all workers covered by unions irrespective of their union status, and union membership entails costs, workers will only join if they are coerced or are offered non-wage goods that they value above membership costs. Yet U.S. and British empirical research has found a substantial union membership wage premium among private-sector union-covered workers, implying that there is no free rider problem. The authors of this study hypothesize that these findings arise due to selectivity problems associated with identifying the union membership effect. Their analysis, which uses rich data from a new linked employer-employee survey for Britain and exploits the within-establishment variation in wages as a function of individual union membership status, demonstrates that the apparent wage premium for members is illusory. Hence, a potential free rider problem remains. (Author's abstract.) (Free full-text download available at http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/vol57/iss3/5
Download Restriction: At http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/, all visitors can get free full text downloads of articles published between April 2003 and 18 months prior to today's date. A subscription is required for full-text downloads of more recent articles. Researchers can find older issues of the Review at http://www.jstore.org.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 57 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 402-421

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:57:y:2004:i:3:p:402-421

Contact details of provider:
Fax: 607-255-8016
Web page: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Postal: 381 Ives East, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
Email:
Web: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. John Forth, 2000. "The determinants of pay levels and fringe benefit provision in Britain," NIESR Discussion Papers 171, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  2. Blakemore, Arthur E & Hunt, Janet C & Kiker, B F, 1986. "Collective Bargaining and Union Membership Effects on the Wages of Male Youths," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 193-211, April.
  3. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 1997. "Educational choice, families and young people's earnings," ISER Working Paper Series 97-06, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  4. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1994. "Union Membership and Wage Bargaining When Membership is Not Compulsory," CEPR Discussion Papers 884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Budd, John W & Na, In-Gang, 2000. "The Union Membership Wage Premium for Employees Covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 783-807, October.
  6. Naylor, Robin, 1989. "Strikes, Free Riders, and Social Customs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 771-85, November.
  7. David Metcalf & Kirstine Hansen & Andy Charlwood, 2000. "Unions and the sword of justice: unions and pay systems, pay inequality, pay discrimination and low pay," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20195, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:57:y:2004:i:3:p:402-421. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ILR Review).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.