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What Explains Wage Differences Between Union Members and Covered Nonmembers?

Author

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  • Edward J. Schumacher

Abstract

An individual covered by a collective bargaining agreement but who is not a union member is estimated to earn about 13% lower wages than a union member. Sectors with relatively few covered nonmembers are associated with a large coverage differential, while sectors with high proportions of covered nonmembers are associated with small differentials. This suggests freeriders either weaken the bargaining position of the union or weak bargaining positions increase the incentive to freeride. Only a modest amount of this differential is accounted for by unmeasured ability, the probationary period associated with newly hired union workers, or union status misclassification.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward J. Schumacher, 1999. "What Explains Wage Differences Between Union Members and Covered Nonmembers?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 493-512, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:65:3:y:1999:p:493-512
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alex Bryson, 2006. "Union Free-Riding in Britain and New Zealand," CEP Discussion Papers dp0713, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Barry T. Hirsch, 2004. "Reconsidering Union Wage Effects: Surveying New Evidence on an Old Topic," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(2), pages 233-266, April.
    3. Koevoets, Wim, 2007. "Union wage premiums in Great Britain: Coverage or membership?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 53-71, January.
    4. Bernd Fitzenberger & Karsten Kohn & Alexander C. Lembcke, 2013. "Union Density and Varieties of Coverage: The Anatomy of Union Wage Effects in Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(1), pages 169-197, January.
    5. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2011. "Trade union membership and dismissals," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 810-821.
    6. David Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2004. "The Union Wage Premium in the US and the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0612, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. McGuinness, Seamus & Kelly, Elish & O'Connell, Philip J., 2008. "The Impact of Wage Bargaining Regime on Firm-Level Competitiveness and Wage Inequality: The Case of Ireland," Papers WP266, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    8. John Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Katalin Evers & Lutz Bellmann, 2014. "Indicative and Updated Estimates of the Collective Bargaining Premium in Germany," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 125-156, January.
    9. Alex Bryson & John Forth & Patrice Laroche, 2009. "Unions and Workplace Performance in Britain and France," CEP Discussion Papers dp0920, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2015. "Trade union membership and sickness absence: Evidence from a sick pay reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 13-25.
    11. Budd, John W & Na, In-Gang, 2000. "The Union Membership Wage Premium for Employees Covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 783-807, October.
    12. Louis-Philippe Beland & Bulent Unel, 2015. "Democrats and Unions," Departmental Working Papers 2015-02, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.

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