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Unions and Employment Growth: The One Constant?

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Author Info

  • Addison, John T.

    ()
    (University of South Carolina)

  • Belfield, Clive R.

    ()
    (Queens College, CUNY)

Abstract

Sequential analyses of the major workplace data sets available to British researchers – the Workplace Industrial/Employee Relations Surveys (WIRS/WERS) – have revealed shifts in some previously solid relationships between union presence and a variety of establishment performance indicators. So much so that it is now conventional to speak of a pronounced reduction in the 'disadvantages of unionism' in that country. One finding that seems to have persisted in cross section, however, is the negative effect of unions on employment growth. Following on a recent study of AWIRS (Wooden and Hawke, 2000), we reexamine the issue using new panel data from the WERS series, where workplaces were surveyed in 1990 and then followed-up in 1998. We report similar evidence of employment retardation in union regimes. Moreover, use of the panel also hints that some other unfavorable union effects may be longer standing than suggested in cross-section work.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 479.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrial Relations, 2004, 43 (2), 305-323
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp479

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Keywords: panel data; unions; employment growth; financial performance; labor productivity;

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References

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  1. Martin J. Conyon & Richard B. Freeman, 2001. "Shared Modes of Compensation and Firm Performance: UK Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Booth, Alison L & McCulloch, Andrew, 1999. "Redundancy Pay, Unions and Employment," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(3), pages 346-66, June.
  3. Addison, John T. & Belfield, Clive R., 2002. "Unions and Establishment Performance: Evidence from the British Workplace Industrial/Employee Relations Surveys," IZA Discussion Papers 455, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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).
  5. Blanchflower, David G & Millward, Neil & Oswald, Andrew J, 1991. "Unionism and Employment Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 815-34, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Tobias Brändle & Wolf Dieter Heinbach, 2010. "Opening Clauses in Cellective Bargaining Agreements: More Flexibility to Save Jobs?," IAW Discussion Papers 67, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  2. Blanchflower, David G., 2006. "A Cross-Country Study of Union Membership," IZA Discussion Papers 2016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Blanchflower, David G. & Bryson, Alex, 2008. "Union Decline in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 3436, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Alex Bryson & Michael White, 2006. "Unions, Within-Workplace Job Cuts and Job Security Guarantees," CEP Discussion Papers dp0733, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Alex Bryson & Michael White, 2006. "Unions, Job Reductions and Job Security Guarantees: the Experience of British Employees," CEP Discussion Papers dp0745, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Addison, John T. & Siebert, W. Stanley, 2002. "Changes in Collective Bargaining in the U.K," IZA Discussion Papers 562, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Morikawa, Masayuki, 2010. "Labor unions and productivity: An empirical analysis using Japanese firm-level data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 1030-1037, December.

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