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Investment and union certification

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Author Info

  • Bruce C. Fallick
  • Kevin A. Hassett

Abstract

A growing body of work--both theoretical and empirical--has emphasized that unionization may be better understood as a tax on capital rather than a tax on labor. Under this "new" view, unionization unambiguously lowers investment. Using data on union certification elections, we estimate the impact of unionization on firms' investment behavior. Employing both a standard q-model and an "investment surprises" technique, we find that union certification significantly reduces investment. We find that a winning certification election has, on average, about the same effect on investment as would a 30 percentage point increase in the corporate tax.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 96-43.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:96-43

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Related research

Keywords: Investments ; Taxation;

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References

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  1. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "A Reconsideration of Investment Behavior Using Tax Reforms as Natural Experiments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 1-74.
  2. Machin, Stephen J & Wadhwani, Sushil, 1991. "The Effects of Unions on Organisational Change and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 835-54, July.
  3. 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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fang, Tony & Ge, Ying, 2012. "Unions and firm innovation in China: Synergy or strife?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 170-180.
  2. 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).
  3. Wagner, Joachim & Schnabel, Claus & Schank, Thorsten & Addison, John T., 2005. "Do Works Councils Inhibit Investment?," Discussion Papers 32, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  4. Naercio Menezes-Filho & Helio Zylberstajn & Jose Paulo Chahad & Elaine Pazello, 2002. "Unions and the Economic Performanceof Brazilian Establishments," Research Department Publications 3157, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. Gavin Cameron & Chris Wallace, 2002. "Macroeconomic Performance in the Bretton Woods Era and After," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 479-494.
  6. Thomas J. Holmes, 2006. "Geographic spillover of unionism," Staff Report 368, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Cabalero, R.J., 1997. "Aggregaete Investment," Working papers 97-20, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Chen, Yan-Shing & Chen, I-Ju, 2013. "The impact of labor unions on investment-cash flow sensitivity," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2408-2418.
  9. Campo Corredera, María Luz & Bárcena Ruiz, Juan Carlos, 2003. "Timing of Wage Setting when Firms Invest in R&D," IKERLANAK 2003-14, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
  10. Calabuig, Vicente & Gonzalez-Maestre, Miguel, 2002. "Union structure and incentives for innovation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 177-192, March.
  11. Hirsch, Barry, 2003. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," IZA Discussion Papers 892, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. John T. Addison, 2005. "The Determinants of Firm Performance: Unions, Works Councils, and Employee Involvement/High Performance Work Practices," GEMF Working Papers 2005-03, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  13. John Budd & Yijiang Wang, . "Labor Policy and Investment," Working Papers 0502, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).

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