Wage bargaining, union membership, and the organization of unemployment insurance
The paper offers a theoretical analysis of a labor market institution known as the Gent system, which is a system where unions run unemployment insurance (UI) through government-subsidized UI funds. This sytem is practiced in four Nordic countries with comparatively very high unionization rates. The analysis shows that the Gent system is more conducive to unionization than a compulsory UI system if the Gent system is heavily subsidized by the government or if workers are strongly risk averse. Moreover, a rise in the share of benefits financed by union members is likely to reduce wages as well as union membership.
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