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Does labor contract completeness drive unionization? Experimental evidence

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  • Flynn, Sean Masaki
  • Donnelly, Michael

Abstract

Flynn (2005) proposes that the degree to which labor contracts are complete may be a major driving force behind the propensity of employees to unionize. We find behavior consistent with this hypothesis in an experimental production game in which subjects are assigned to playing either employers or employees. The rate at which employees opt for a proxy for unionization more than triples when the labor-contracting regime under which they are working shifts from incomplete to complete labor contracts. Complete labor contracts drive out positive reciprocity, anger workers, and increase their desire to unionize.

Suggested Citation

  • Flynn, Sean Masaki & Donnelly, Michael, 2012. "Does labor contract completeness drive unionization? Experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 445-454.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:4:p:445-454
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.07.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unions; Labor contracts; Labor contract completeness;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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