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Anticipation, Free-Rider Problem, and Adaptation to Trade Union: Re-examining the Curious Case of Dissatisfied Union Members

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  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper documents evidence that rejects the paradox of dissatisfied union members. Using eleven waves of the BHPS, it studies the past, contemporaneous, and future effects of union membership on job satisfaction. By separating union "free-riders" from other nonmembers in the fixed effects equations, I find significant anticipation effects to unionism for prospective members and covered nonmembers of both genders. Workers go on to report, on average, a significant net increase in overall job satisfaction at the year unionization occurs. Nonetheless, adaptation to unionism is complete within the first few years of joining a unionized firm. One hypothesis for this is that workers adapt their reported satisfaction over time to support their union bargaining efforts, which would be consistent with the explanation given by Freeman and Medoff (1984) of union’s role in fanning the flame of discontent to the management during contract negotiations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4806.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2011, 64 (5), 1000-1019
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4806

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Keywords: longitudinal; adaptation; anticipation; job satisfaction; union membership; union coverage; free-rider;

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Cited by:
  1. Dominik Hanglberger & Joachim Merz, 2011. "Are Self-Employed Really Happier than Employees?: An Approach Modelling Adaptation and Anticipation Effects to Self-Employment and General Job Changes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 376, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. David W. Johnston & Wang-Sheng Lee, 2013. "Extra Status and Extra Stress: Are Promotions Good for Us?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(1), pages 32-54, January.
  3. Alex Bryson & Michael White, 2014. "Not So Dissatisfied After All? The Impact of Union Coverage on Job Satisfaction," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp1271, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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