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Unions without rents: the curious economics of faculty unions

Author

Listed:
  • Arthur Hosios
  • Aloysius Siow

Abstract

We show that Canadian faculty unions have had no effect on university revenues, only a small positive effect on earnings, a negative effect on research output, and lead to earnings redistributions across disciplines and ranks. We argue that faculty unions have a negligible positive (and often negative) effect on average faculty wages, because a union that promotes the median faculty member's welfare negotiates wage redistributions and more onerous teaching conditions, despite the negative impact these changes have on research output. Average wages may rise, but only because non-unionized universities trade off wages against the non-pecuniary benefits from research and teaching.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur Hosios & Aloysius Siow, 2004. "Unions without rents: the curious economics of faculty unions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(1), pages 28-52, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:37:y:2004:i:1:p:28-52
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Schenk, Tom, Jr., 2007. "The effects of graduate-student unionization," ISU General Staff Papers 2007010108000015881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Steven Henson & John Krieg & Charles Wassell & David Hedrick, 2012. "Collective Bargaining and Community College Faculty: What Is the Wage Impact?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 104-117, March.
    3. James B. Davies & Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2008. "Economics research in Canada: a long-run assessment of journal publications," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 22-45, February.
    4. Felice Martinello, 2006. "University Revenues and Faculty Salaries in Ontario: 1970/71­2003/04," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 32(4), pages 349-372, December.
    5. Joel Waldfogel, 2016. "Faculty Preferences over Unionization: Evidence from Open Letters at Two Research Universities," NBER Working Papers 22149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J54 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Producer Cooperatives; Labor Managed Firms

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