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Unions and Workplace Performance in Britain and France

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  • Alex Bryson
  • John Forth
  • Patrice Laroche

Abstract

Using nationally representative workplace surveys we examine the relationship between unionization and workplace financial performance in Britain and France. We find that union bargaining is detrimental to workplace performance in Britain and that this effect is larger when unionization is endogenized. In France, union bargaining is associated with poorer workplace performance but the effect disappears once unionization is treated as endogenous. However, high levels of union density do have a negative impact on workplace performance in France. In Britain the union effect does not rise with union density.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0920.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0920

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: Trade union; firm performance; France; Britain;

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References

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  1. Stephen Machin, 2000. "Union Decline in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 631-645, December.
  2. Machin, Stephen & Stewart, Mark, 1996. "Trade Unions and Financial Performance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 213-41, April.
  3. Stewart, Mark B, 1987. "Collective Bargaining Arrangements, Closed Shops and Relative Pay," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 140-56, March.
  4. Hirsch, Barry, 2003. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," IZA Discussion Papers 892, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Machin, Stephen J & Stewart, Mark B, 1990. "Unions and the Financial Performance of British Private Sector Establishments," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 327-50, Oct.-Dec..
  6. David Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2002. "Changes over time in union relative wage effects in the UK and the US revisited," NBER Working Papers 9395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alex Bryson & Harald Dale-Olsen, 2008. "A Tale of Two Countries: Unions, Closures and Growth in Britain and Norway," CEP Discussion Papers dp0867, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Freeman, Richard B & Medoff, James L, 1981. "The Impact of the Percentage Organized on Union and Nonunion Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 561-72, November.
  9. Forth, John & Millward, Neil, 2002. "Union effects on pay levels in Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 547-561, September.
  10. Anne Hawke & Mark Wooden, 1997. "The 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 30(3), pages 323-328.
  11. Alex Bryson, 2007. "The Effect of Trade Unions on Wages," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 33-45.
  12. Paula B. Voos, 1987. "Managerial perceptions of the economic impact of labor relations programs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(2), pages 195-208, January.
  13. Edward J. Schumacher, 1999. "What Explains Wage Differences Between Union Members and Covered Nonmembers?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 493-512, January.
  14. Patrice Laroche & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2009. "Unions and Profits: A meta-regression Analysis," Post-Print hal-00648569, HAL.
  15. Brown , W. & Bryson , A. & Forth , J., 2008. "Competition and the Retreat from Collective Bargaining," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0831, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  16. Addison, John T & Hirsch, Barry T, 1989. "Union Effects on Productivity, Profits, and Growth: Has the Long Run Arrived?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 72-105, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Patrice Laroche & Heidi Wechtler, 2011. "The Effects of Labor Unions on Workplace Performance: New Evidence from France," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 157-180, June.
  2. Annette van den Berg & Yolanda Grift & Arjen van Witteloostuijn & Christophe Boone & Olivier Van der Brempt, 2013. "The Effect of Employee Workplace Representation on Firm Performance a Cross-Country Comparison within Europe," Working Papers 13-05, Utrecht School of Economics.
  3. VAN DEN BERG, Annette & GRIFT, Yolanda & VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen & BOONE, Christophe & VAN DER BREMPT, Olivier, 2013. "The effect of employee workplace representation on firm performance. A cross-country comparison within Europe," Working Papers 2013008, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  4. Thomas Breda, 2010. "Firms' rents, workers' bargaining power and the union wage premium in France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564903, HAL.
  5. VAN DEN BERG, Annette & GRIFT, Yolanda & VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen & BOONE, Christophe & VAN DER BREMPT, Olivier, 2013. "The effect of employee workplace representation on firm performance. A cross-country comparison within Europe," ACED Working Papers 2013016, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.

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