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Unionized Construction Workers are More Productive

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  • Steven G. Allen

Abstract

This paper presents evidence on the effect of unionism on productivity in construction. The linkages are distinct from those studied previously in industrial settings. Apprenticeship training and hiring halls probably raise union productivity, while jurisdictional disputes and restrictive work rules lower it. Using Brown and Medoff's methodology, union productivity, measured by value added per employee, is 44 to 52 percent higher than nonunion. The estimate declines to 17 to 22 percent when estimates of interarea construction price differences are used to deflate value added. Occupational mix differences and, possibly, apprenticeship training account for 15 to 27 percent of this difference.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven G. Allen, 1984. "Unionized Construction Workers are More Productive," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(2), pages 251-274.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:99:y:1984:i:2:p:251-274.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/1885525
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Steven G. Allen, 1987. "Declining Unionization in Construction: The Facts and the Reasons," NBER Working Papers 2320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Patricia Jones, 1994. "Are manufacturing workers really worth their pay?," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1994-12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Patrick Plane & Claire Salmon, 2002. "Syndicalisme et efficience technique : une analyse appliquée aux firmes bangladaises," Revue Tiers Monde, Programme National Persée, vol. 43(169), pages 167-188.
    4. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David & Troske, Kenneth R, 1999. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-446, July.
    5. Steven G. Allen, 1987. "Productivity Levels and Productivity Change Under Unionism," NBER Working Papers 2304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:col:000442:015650 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Gose, Karina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2014. "Strike, coordination, and dismissal in uniform wage settings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 145-158.
    8. Paul E. Pieper, 1991. "The Measurement of Construction Prices: Retrospect and Prospect," NBER Chapters,in: Fifty Years of Economic Measurement: The Jubilee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, pages 239-272 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Dinardo, John & Hallock, Kevin F & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2000. "Unions And The Labour Market For Managers," CEPR Discussion Papers 2418, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Fernando Rios-Avila, 2017. "Unions and Economic Performance in Developing Countries: Case Studies from Latin America," REVISTA ECOS DE ECONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT, vol. 21(44), pages 4-36, June.
    11. Fahn, Matthias, 2011. "Three Essays on Commitment and Information Problems," Munich Dissertations in Economics 13750, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    12. Matsui, Muneya & Yoshimi, Taiyo, 2015. "Macroeconomic dynamics in a model with heterogeneous wage contracts," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 72-80.

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