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How Trade Unions Increase Welfare

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  • Alejandro Donado
  • Klaus Wälde

Abstract

Historically, worker movements have played a crucial role in making workplaces safer. Firms traditionally oppose better health standards. According to our interpretation, workplace safety is costly for firms but increases the average health of workers and thereby the aggregate labour supply. A laissez-faire approach in which firms set safety standards is suboptimal as workers are not fully informed of health risks associated with jobs. Safety standards set by better-informed trade unions are output and welfare increasing.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-10/cesifo1_wp3618.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3618.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3618

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Keywords: occupational health and safety; trade unions; welfare;

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References

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  1. Agell, Jonas, 1999. "On the Benefits from Rigid Labour Markets: Norms, Market Failures, and Social Insurance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F143-64, February.
  2. Price V. Fishback, 1998. "Operations of "Unfettered" Labor Markets: Exit and Voice in American Labor Markets at the Turn of the Century," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 722-765, June.
  3. Tito Boeri & Michael C. Burda, 2009. "Preferences for Collective Versus Individualised Wage Setting," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(540), pages 1440-1463, October.
  4. Booth,Alison L., 1994. "The Economics of the Trade Union," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521468398.
  5. Janet Currie & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 27, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  6. Joshua Hall & Peter Leeson, 2007. "Good for the Goose, Bad for the Gander: International Labor Standards and Comparative Development," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 658-676, September.
  7. Mezzetti, C. & Dinopoulos, E., 1989. "Domestic Unionization And Import Competition," Papers, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs 337, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  8. Alejandro Donado & Klaus Wälde, 2008. "Trade Unions go global!," Working Papers, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow 2008_22, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Aug 2008.
  9. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The macroeconomics of child labor regulation," Staff Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 354, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Paul Fenn & Simon Ashby, 2004. "Workplace Risk, Establishment Size and Union Density," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, London School of Economics, vol. 42(3), pages 461-480, 09.
  11. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  12. Shulamit Kahn, 1990. "What Occupational Safety Tells Us about Political Power in Union Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 481-496, Autumn.
  13. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1998. "Unions and Efficient Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 328-43, March.
  14. Malcomson, James M, 1983. "Trade Unions and Economic Efficiency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369a), pages 51-65, Supplemen.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. How trade unions increase welfare
    by rené böheim in Econ Tidbits on 2012-09-06 15:36:00
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Cited by:
  1. Haile, Getinet Astatike & Bryson, Alex & White, Michael, 2012. "Heterogeneity in Union Status and Employee Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 7075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Donado, Alejandro, 2013. "Why Do Unionized Workers Have More Nonfatal Occupational Injuries?," Working Papers, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics 0551, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  3. Haile, Getinet Astatike, 2012. "Union Decline in Britain: Is Chauvinism Also to Blame?," IZA Discussion Papers 6536, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Hartmut Egger & Daniel Etzel, 2012. "Union Wage Setting and International Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series, CESifo Group Munich 3929, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Uwe Jirjahn, 2013. "Der Beitrag der Arbeitsmarktökonomik zur Erforschung von Gewerkschaften und Tarifvertragsbeziehungen in Deutschland," Research Papers in Economics, University of Trier, Department of Economics 2013-03, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  6. Donado, Alejandro & Wälde, Klaus, 2012. "Globalization, trade unions and labour standards in the North," ILO Working Papers, International Labour Organization 469448, International Labour Organization.
  7. Haile, Getinet Astatike & Bryson, Alex & White, Michael, 2014. "Spillover Effects of Unionisation on Non-members' Well-being," IZA Discussion Papers 8361, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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