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Union effects on performance and employment relations: Evidence from China

  • Lu, Yi
  • Tao, Zhigang
  • Wang, Yijiang

This paper empirically studies union effects on the performance of, and employment relations in, China's private enterprises. The study finds a positive and statistically significant union effect on labor productivity, but not on profitability. It further finds that unions lead to better employee benefits and increased contract signing in employment. These findings suggest that, in the era of transition from a centrally planned to a market economy, unions in China's private enterprises do promote workers' interests as unions do in other economies. And they do that without abandoning their traditional role of harmonizing employment relations, as required by the Party.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 21 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 202-210

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Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:21:y:2010:i:1:p:202-210
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  1. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark, 1986. "Unions, pension wealth, and age-compensation profiles," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(4), pages 502-517, July.
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  3. Robert Kornfeld, 1993. "The Effects of Union Membership on Wages and Employee Benefits: The Case of Australia," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(1), pages 114-128, October.
  4. Thomas C. Buchmueller & John Dinardo & Robert G. Valletta, 2002. "Union Effects on Health Insurance Provision and Coverage in the United States," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(4), pages 610-627, July.
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  6. Addison, John T & Hirsch, Barry T, 1989. "Union Effects on Productivity, Profits, and Growth: Has the Long Run Arrived?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 72-105, January.
  7. Menezes-Filho, Naercio & Van Reenen, John, 2003. "Unions and Innovation: A Survey of the Theory and Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1979. "The Two Faces of Unionism," NBER Working Papers 0364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Montgomery, Edward & Shaw, Kathryn, 1997. "Pensions and Wage Premia," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 510-22, July.
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  13. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark, 1985. "Unions, Pension Wealth, and Age-Compensation Profiles," NBER Working Papers 1677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Laroche, P., 2000. "What do Unions do to Productivity? A Meta-Analysis," Papers 2000-5, Groupe de recherche en économie financière et en gestion des entreprises, Universite Nancy 2.
  16. Toke Aidt & Zafiris Tzannatos, 2002. "Unions and Collective Bargaining : Economic Effects in a Global Environment," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15241.
  17. Richard B. Freeman, 1983. "Unions, Pensions, and Union Pension Funds," NBER Working Papers 1226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Montgomery, Edward, 1989. "Employment and Unemployment Effects of Unions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(2), pages 170-90, April.
  19. Hirsch, Barry, 2003. "Reconsidering Union Wage Effects: Surveying New Evidence on an Old Topic," IZA Discussion Papers 795, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Peter Kuhn, 1998. "Innis Lecture: Unions and the Economy: What We Know; What We Should Know," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(5), pages 1033-1056, November.
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