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The Impact of Unionization on Productivity: A Case Study

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  • Kim B. Clark

Abstract

This study examines the effect of unionization on productivity through the use of time-series data on selected establishments in the U.S. cement industry. The analysis combines statistical estimation of the union impact and interviews with union and management officials to forge a link between econometric estimation and the traditional institutional analysis of union policy and management practice. The econometric analysis deals primarily with the problem of controlling for interfirm differences in variables such as the quality of management and also for the possible union impact on labor quality. The case studies are designed to show the specific ways in which unionization affects productivity. The empirical results indicate that unionization leads to productivity gains, deriving in large part from a series of extensive changes in management personnel and procedures.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim B. Clark, 1980. "The Impact of Unionization on Productivity: A Case Study," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(4), pages 451-469, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:33:y:1980:i:4:p:451-469
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    Cited by:

    1. Wayne B Gray & Ronald J Shadbegian, 1993. "Environmental Regulation And Manufacturing Productivity At The Plant Level," Working Papers 93-6, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Schumann, Paul L, 1984. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Mandatory Overtime?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(4), pages 460-478, October.
    3. David S. Lee & Alexandre Mas, 2012. "Long-Run Impacts of Unions on Firms: New Evidence from Financial Markets, 1961--1999," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 333-378.
    4. Robert S. Huckman & Jason Barro, 2005. "Cohort Turnover and Productivity: The July Phenomenon in Teaching Hospitals," NBER Working Papers 11182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Kim B. Clark, 1982. "Unionization and Firm Performance: The Impact on Profits, Growth and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 0990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Wayne B Gray & Ronald J Shadbegian, 1994. "Pollution Abatement Costs, Regulation And Plant-Level Productivity," Working Papers 94-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:eee:labchp:v:2:y:1986:i:c:p:1183-1217 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Shaw, Kathryn, 2009. "Insider econometrics: A roadmap with stops along the way," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 607-617, December.

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