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How trade unions increase welfare

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  • Alejandro Donado
  • Klaus Wa¨lde

Abstract

Historically, worker movements have played a crucial role in making workplaces safer. Firms traditionally oppose better health standards. According to our interpretation, workplace safety is costly for firms but increases the average health of workers and thereby the aggregate labour supply. A laissez-faire approach in which firms set safety standards is suboptimal as workers are not fully informed of health risks associated with jobs. Safety standards set by better-informed trade unions are output and welfare increasing.
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Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Donado & Klaus Wa¨lde, 2012. "How trade unions increase welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 990-1009, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i:563:p:990-1009
    DOI: j.1468-0297.2012.02513.x
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    1. How trade unions increase welfare
      by rené böheim in Econ Tidbits on 2012-09-06 20:36:00

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    Cited by:

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    2. Haile, Getinet & Bryson, Alex & White, Michael, 2015. "Spillover effects of unionisation on non-members' wellbeing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 108-122.
    3. Andreas Hauptmann, 2019. "Endogenous wage regime selection: A general equilibrium model," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 39(4), pages 2650-2663.
    4. Getinet Astatike Haile, 2017. "Union decline in Britain: does gender have anything to do with it?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 64(1), pages 25-49, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Dike, Onyemaechi, 2019. "Informal employment and work health risks: Evidence from Cambodia," MPRA Paper 92943, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Mar 2019.
    7. Getinet Astatike Haile, 2021. "Men, women and unions," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 201-217, May.
    8. Molinder, Jakob, 2019. "Why Was Unemployment so Low in Postwar Sweden? An Analysis with New Unemployment Data by Manufacturing Industry, 1935-1948," Lund Papers in Economic History 201, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    9. Jorge Calero & Álvaro Choi, 2015. "The distribution of skills among the European adult population and unemployment: a comparative approach," Working Papers 2015/35, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    10. Uwe Jirjahn, 2013. "Der Beitrag der Arbeitsmarktökonomik zur Erforschung von Gewerkschaften und Tarifvertragsbeziehungen in Deutschland," Research Papers in Economics 2013-03, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    11. Molinder, Jakob & Karlsson, Tobias & Enflo, Kerstin, 2021. "Social Democracy and the Decline of Strikes," Lund Papers in Economic History 222, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    12. Crawford Charman & Ann L. Owen, 2014. "Collective happiness: labour union membership and life satisfaction," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(13), pages 924-927, September.
    13. 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.
    14. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2015. "The Rise and Decline of General Laws of Capitalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    15. Donado, Alejandro, 2020. "Why do they just do it? A theory of outsourcing and working conditions," MPRA Paper 104584, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Haile, Getinet Astatike, 2012. "Union Decline in Britain: Is Chauvinism Also to Blame?," IZA Discussion Papers 6536, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Donado, Alejandro. & Wälde, Klaus., 2012. "Globalization, trade unions and labour standards in the North," ILO Working Papers 994694483402676, International Labour Organization.
    18. Haile, Getinet Astatike & Bryson, Alex & White, Michael, 2012. "Heterogeneity in Union Status and Employee Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 7075, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Hartmut Egger & Daniel Etzel, 2012. "Union Wage Setting and International Trade," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201209, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    20. Beate Schirwitz, 2013. "Business Fluctuations, Job Flows and Trade Unions - Dynamics in the Economy," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 47, May.
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    22. Ericsson, Johan & Molinder, Jakob, 2018. "A Workers’ Revolution in Sweden? Exploring Economic Growth and Distributional Change with Detailed Data on Construction Workers’ Wages, 1831–1900," Lund Papers in Economic History 181, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions

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