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Job Queues and the Union Status of Workers


  • John M. Abowd
  • Henry S. Farber


This paper develops a model of the determination of the union status of workers that allows for the possibility of queuing for union jobs. The empirical results derived, using a sample from the University of Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics , are supportive of the queuing hypothesis. The no-queue model can be rejected using a likelihood-ratio test. This suggests that a simple probit or logit model for union status is misspecified because it is not based on any consistent behavioral theory. An important implication of the model is that because most new entrants to the labor market prefer union jobs but cannot get them and because accrual of nonunion seniority makes workers progressively less likely to desire union jobs, the union status of workers is largely determined by their success in being selected from the queue early in their working life.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. Abowd & Henry S. Farber, 1982. "Job Queues and the Union Status of Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 354-367, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:35:y:1982:i:3:p:354-367

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