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Workplace Risk, Establishment Size and Union Density


  • Paul Fenn
  • Simon Ashby


The health and safety risk faced by individual employees can be treated as an unobservable latent variable which manifests itself at workplace level through reported counts of work-related injuries and illnesses over a given interval. This paper presents results from count data regressions using data from the 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey. The findings strongly support the view that employees in larger establishments have a lower probability of being injured or falling ill. In addition, establishments with a higher proportion of unionized employees, and with health and safety committees, were associated with higher numbers of reported injuries and illnesses. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Fenn & Simon Ashby, 2004. "Workplace Risk, Establishment Size and Union Density," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(3), pages 461-480, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:42:y:2004:i:3:p:461-480

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-141, May.
    2. Miller, Paul W, 1990. "Trade Unions and Job Satisfaction," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(55), pages 226-248, December.
    3. Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora & Giulio Piccirilli, 2004. "Union Activism, Workers' Satisfaction and Organizational Change," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 18(1), pages 1-28, March.
    4. Bryson, Alex, 2002. "The union membership wage premium: an analysis using propensity score matching," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4953, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    6. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    7. George J. Borjas, 1979. "Job Satisfaction, Wages, and Unions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 21-40.
    8. Keith A. Bender & Peter J. Sloane, 1998. "Job Satisfaction, Trade Unions, and Exit-Voice Revisited," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(2), pages 222-240, January.
    9. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1998. "Comparison-concave utility and following behaviour in social and economic settings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-155, October.
    10. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    11. Joni Hersch & Joe A. Stone, 1990. "Is Union Job Dissatisfaction Real?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4).
    12. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alejandro Donado & Klaus Wa¨lde, 2012. "How trade unions increase welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 990-1009, September.
    2. Melanie K. Jones & Paul L. Latreille & Peter J. Sloane, 2016. "Job Anxiety, Work-Related Psychological Illness and Workplace Performance," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(4), pages 742-767, December.
    3. Alejandro Donado, 2015. "Why Do Unionized Workers Have More Nonfatal Occupational Injuries?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(1), pages 153-183, January.
    4. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2007. "The establishment-size wage premium: evidence from European countries," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(5), pages 427-451, December.
    5. Binnur Balkan & Semih Tumen, 2016. "Firm-Size Wage Gaps along the Formal-Informal Divide: Theory and Evidence," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 235-266, April.
    6. Konstantinos, Pouliakas & Ioannis, Theodossiou, 2010. "An Inquiry Into the Theory, Causes and Consequences of Monitoring Indicators of Health and Safety At Work," MPRA Paper 20336, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:ctc:serie1:def15 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Mohamed Ali Ben Halima & Camille Regaert, 2015. "Quel est l'impact de la survenue d'un accident du travail sur la santé et le parcours professionnel ?," Working Papers DT68, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Jul 2015.
    9. repec:ilo:ilowps:455310 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Izabela Jonek-Kowalska, 2014. "Employment and Remuneration Trends in Polish Hard Coal Mines in the Context of the Relations Between Boards and Trade Unions," International Journal of Synergy and Research, ToKnowPress, vol. 3(1), pages 27-43.
    11. Jones, Melanie K & Latreille, Paul L & Sloane, Peter J, 2011. "NILS Working paper no 180. Job anxiety, work-related psychological illness and workplace performance," NILS Working Papers 26078, National Institute of Labour Studies.
    12. Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2009. "Performance Pay as an Incentive for Lower Absence Rates in Britain," MPRA Paper 18238, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Gabriele Mazzolini, 2014. "The economic consequences of accidents at work," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def015, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    14. Andrew Sharpe & Jill Hardt, 2006. "Five Deaths a Day: Workplace Fatalities in Canada, 1993-2005," CSLS Research Reports 2006-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

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