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Union Organizing: Costs and Benefits

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  • Paula B. Voos

Abstract

This paper examines the costs and benefits to current union members in manufacturing of programs to organize the unorganized. The marginal cost of organizing an additional employee, in constant dollars, is estimated for a sample of unions between 1964 and 1977. The primary benefit of organizing that is quantifiable is the extent to which the maintenance or extension of union coverage permits the maintenance of or increase in the union wage. Estimates of this benefit are derived from previous econometric research linking the union wage to the percentage of the industry organized. This single benefit is found to be larger than the estimated marginal cost of extending union coverage in 19 of 20 manufacturing industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Paula B. Voos, 1983. "Union Organizing: Costs and Benefits," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 36(4), pages 576-591, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:36:y:1983:i:4:p:576-591
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Kremer & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "A Biological Model of Unions," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 150-175, April.
    2. Wunnava, Phanindra V., 2017. "Firm Size and Union Threat Effects across Genders: Evidence from NLSY79," GLO Discussion Paper Series 45, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Employer Size and the Wage Structure in U.S. Manufacturing," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 41-42, pages 323-367.
    4. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2007. "The establishment-size wage premium: evidence from European countries," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(5), pages 427-451, December.
    5. Rebitzer, James B., 1994. "Structural, Microeconomic and Institutional Explanations for Union Decline in the United States," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 45(1), pages 41-52, January.
    6. Duplantis, Malcolm M. & Chandler, Timothy D. & Geske, Terry G., 1995. "The growth and impact of teachers' unions in states without collective bargaining legislation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 167-178, June.
    7. Christopher K. Coombs & Richard Cebula, 2011. "The Impact of Union Corruption on Union Membership," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 131-148, January.

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