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What Occupational Safety Tells Us about Political Power in Union Firms

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  • Shulamit Kahn

Abstract

This article tests hypotheses on the distribution of power within unionized firms by measuring which workers' preferences determine the level of firm-supplied occupational safety. An egalitarian model in which all workers have equal impact can be easily rejected, as can a median-worker model. The dominant groups appear to be the most senior workers with more than ten years of seniority and recently hired workers with three or fewer years of seniority. This suggests that unions pursue the objectives of the most senior workers while management tries to set a safety level that is attractive to the more mobile workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Shulamit Kahn, 1990. "What Occupational Safety Tells Us about Political Power in Union Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 481-496, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:21:y:1990:i:autumn:p:481-496
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Alejandro Donado & Klaus Wa¨lde, 2012. "How trade unions increase welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 990-1009, September.
    3. Lee, Darin & Singer, Ethan, 2014. "What's your number? Interpreting the “fair and equitable” standard in seniority integration for airlines and other industries," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 2-15.

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