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Labour Unions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from China

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  • Chih‐Hai Yang
  • Meng‐Wen Tsou

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of labour unions on productivity across various types of firm ownership in China. Using a panel dataset of Chinese manufacturing firms covering 2004–2007 and employing propensity score matching techniques, we find that unions have a negative impact on labour productivity and total factor productivity. From a dynamic viewpoint, unionisation has an initially positive or nonsignificant association with productivity, but then has a significant negative effect in subsequent years for both foreign‐owned enterprises and private firms. A strong and negative productivity effect is consistently observed for state‐owned enterprises.

Suggested Citation

  • Chih‐Hai Yang & Meng‐Wen Tsou, 2018. "Labour Unions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from China," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 86(6), pages 699-721, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:manchs:v:86:y:2018:i:6:p:699-721
    DOI: 10.1111/manc.12225
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Richard B. Freeman, 2005. "What Do Unions Do?-- The 2004 M-Brane Stringtwister Edition," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 26(4), pages 641-668, November.
    8. Sunghoon Kim & Jian Han & Longkai Zhao, 2014. "Union Recognition by Multinational Companies in China: A Dual Institutional Pressure Perspective," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 67(1), pages 34-59, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tsou, Meng-Wen & Yang, Chih-Hai, 2019. "Does gender structure affect firm productivity? Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 19-36.

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