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Did "right-to-work" work for Idaho?

Author

Listed:
  • Emin M. Dinlersoz
  • Rubén Hernández-Murillo

Abstract

The Idaho legislature passed their right-to-work law in 1986. Idaho provides an interesting case study for the effects of the law because it adopted the law during a period in which unionization had already declined substantially in the United States. This paper provides evidence on the industrial organization consequences of right-to-work laws by jointly examining the trends in Idaho’s unionization rate and industrial performance before and after 1986, using neighboring states as controls. We find that unionization declined substantially starting a few years before the passage of the law, and this decline persisted thereafter. Furthermore, the post-law growth rates in manufacturing employment and the number of establishments far exceeded their pre-law counterparts. As a result, Idaho gradually became more like an “average” right-to-work law state in terms of its unionization rate and the employment share of manufacturing, diverging from the patterns exhibited by states without a right-to-work law.

Suggested Citation

  • Emin M. Dinlersoz & Rubén Hernández-Murillo, 2002. "Did "right-to-work" work for Idaho?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 29-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2002:i:may:p:29-42:n:v.84no.3
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    File URL: https://files.stlouisfed.org/files/htdocs/publications/review/02/05/29-42DinlersoHernandez2.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Even, William E. & Macpherson, David A., 1990. "Plant size and the decline of unionism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 393-398, April.
    2. Richard J. Long, 1993. "The Effect of Unionization on Employment Growth of Canadian Companies," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(4), pages 691-703, July.
    3. Steven E. Abraham & Paula B. Voos, 2000. "Right-to-Work Laws: New Evidence from the Stock Market," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 345-362, July.
    4. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
    5. William J. Moore & Robert J. Newman, 1985. "The Effects of Right-to-Work Laws: A Review of the Literature," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(4), pages 571-585, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Emin Dinlersoz & Jeremy Greenwood & Henry Hyatt, 2017. "What Businesses Attract Unions? Unionization over the Life Cycle of U.S. Establishments," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(3), pages 733-766, May.
    2. Emin Dinlersoz & Jeremy Greenwood & Henry Hyatt, 2014. "Who do Unions Target? Unionization over the Life-Cycle of U.S. Businesses," NBER Working Papers 20151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2009. "Critical Analysis of Some Well-Intended Proposals to Fight Unemployment," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 2009-17, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    4. Hogler, Raymond & Shulman, Steven & Weiler, Stephan, 2004. "Right-to-Work Legislation, Social Capital, and Variations in State Union Density," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 34(1), pages 95-111.
    5. repec:cen:wpaper:14-09 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Idaho ; Employment - Idaho ; Regional economics;

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