Are union productivity effects overestimated?: evidence from coal mining
AbstractThe empirical literature of the influence of unions on productivity is extended by considering the effect in an industry with heterogeneous firms. Recent theoretical papers suggest that, in such an industry, unions will tend to organize the exogenously 'more productive' firms. Thus, a spurious correlation between unions and productivity may emerge. We test this hypothesis by estimating production functions for coal with data from Eastern Kentucky underground coal mines. The aspect of mine heterogeneity that we focus on is the width of the mine's seam of coal. Wider seams increase productivity. Empirically, we find that unions disproportionately organize mines with wider seams and this accounts for the positive relationship between unions and productivity observed in our data. In fact, once seam thickness is accounted for, the estimated effect of unions on productivity is negative.
Download InfoIf 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.
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 InfoArticle provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.
Volume (Year): 30 (1998)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RAEC20
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Jeremy Smith, 2004. "Productivity Trends in the Coal Mining Industry in Canada," CSLS Research Reports 2004-07, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
- John E. Tilton, 2013. "Cyclical and Secular Determinants of Productivity in the Copper, Aluminum, Iron Ore, and Coal Industries," Working Papers 2013-11, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.