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Municipal Employment, Municipal Unions, and Demand for Municipal Services

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  • Jeffrey S. Zax

Abstract

Municipal unions may often use their own votes and those of sympathetic fellow citizens to promote increases in demand for municipal services. If successful, this strategy can increase member employment levels without sacrificing compensation. Municipal employee unionization significantly increases levels of annual manhours and employment per capita, and reduces annual hours of workper employee. The net effect of average unionization levels is to increase employees per capita by at least 4.7%, and manhours per capita by at least 3.3%, over levels that would prevail in the absence of municipal unions. These effects occur almost entirely in functions withr ecognized bargaining units. In these functions, employment levels are at least 9.9% higher than they would be in the absence of unionization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1728.

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Date of creation: Oct 1985
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Publication status: published as Industrial Relations, vol 82, no.1, pp21-31, Winter 1989.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1728

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  1. Gramlich, Edward M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1982. "Micro Estimates of Public Spending Demand Functions and Tests of the Tiebout and Median-Voter Hypotheses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 536-60, June.
  2. Inman, Robert P, 1982. "The Economic Case for Limits to Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 176-83, May.
  3. Richard B. Freeman, 1984. "Unionism Comes to the Public Sector," NBER Working Papers 1452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert E. Hall & David M. Lilien, 1978. "Efficient Wage Bargains Under Uncertain Supply and Demand," NBER Working Papers 0306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Farber, Henry S, 1978. "Individual Preferences and Union Wage Determination: The Case of the United Mine Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 923-42, October.
  6. John H. Pencavel, 1982. "The Trade-Off between Wages and Employment in Trade Union Objectives," NBER Working Papers 0870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  8. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Schwarz, Joshua L., 1987. "Public-sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1219-1260 Elsevier.
  9. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  10. Blair, Douglas H & Crawford, David L, 1984. "Labor Union Objectives and Collective Bargaining," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 547-66, August.
  11. Jeffrey S. Zax, 1985. "Labor Relations, Wages and Nonwage Compensation in Municipal Employment," NBER Working Papers 1582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ott, Mack, 1980. "Bureaucracy, monopoly, and the demand for municipal services," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 362-382, November.
  13. Warren-Boulton, Frederick R, 1977. "Vertical Control by Labor Unions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 309-22, June.
  14. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
  15. Edward M. Gramlich & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1982. "Voting on public spending: Differences between public employees, transfer recipients, and private workers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(4), pages 516-533.
  16. Mieszkowski, Peter & Stein, Robert M., 1983. "Trends and prospects in state and local finance," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 224-241, September.
  17. Pencavel, John, 1985. " Wages and Employment under Trade Unionism: Microeconomic Models and Macroeconomic Applications," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 197-225.
  18. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  19. Courant, Paul N & Gramlich, Edward M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1979. "Public Employee Market Power and the Level of Government Spending," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 806-17, December.
  20. Darold T. Barnum & I. B. Helburn, 1982. "Influencing the electorate: Experience with referenda on public employee bargaining," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 330-342, April.
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