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Union Coverage and Profitability among U.S. Firms

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  • Hirsch, Barry T

Abstract

This paper utilizes unique survey data on labor union coverage at the firm level to examine union effects on the profitability of 705 U.S. companies during the 1970s. Market value and earnings are estimated to be about 10 percent-15 percent lower in an average unionized company than in a nonunion company, following extensive control for firm and industry characteristics. Deleterious union effects on firm profitability are sizable throughout the 1972-80 period, but vary considerably across industries. The relatively poor profit performance of unionized companies may help explain the recent decline in U.S. union membership. Copyright 1991 by MIT Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Hirsch, Barry T, 1991. "Union Coverage and Profitability among U.S. Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 69-77, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:73:y:1991:i:1:p:69-77
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    Cited by:

    1. John, Kose & Knyazeva, Anzhela & Knyazeva, Diana, 2015. "Employee rights and acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 49-69.
    2. Chino, Atsushi, 2016. "Do labor unions affect firm payout policy?: Operating leverage and rent extraction effects," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 156-178.
    3. Emin Dinlersoz & Jeremy Greenwood & Henry Hyatt, 2014. "Who do Unions Target? Unionization over the Life-Cycle of U.S. Businesses," NBER Working Papers 20151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Anginer, Deniz & Warburton, A. Joseph, 2014. "The Chrysler effect: The impact of government intervention on borrowing costs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 62-79.
    5. Ilias Kapareliotis & Anastassios Panopoulos, 2010. "The determinants of brand equity: The case of Greek quoted firms," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 225-233, February.
    6. Dongphil Chun & Yanghon Chung & Chungwon Woo & Hangyeol Seo & Hyesoo Ko, 2015. "Labor Union Effects on Innovation and Commercialization Productivity: An Integrated Propensity Score Matching and Two-Stage Data Envelopment Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(5), pages 1-19, April.
    7. Frazer, Garth, 2005. "Which Firms Die? A Look at Manufacturing Firm Exit in Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 585-617, April.
    8. Barry T. Hirsch, 2008. "Sluggish Institutions in a Dynamic World: Can Unions and Industrial Competition Coexist?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 153-176, Winter.
    9. repec:eee:jaecon:v:65:y:2018:i:2:p:331-357 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Park, Timothy A., 2008. "Evaluating Labor Productivity in Food Retailing," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(02), pages 288-300, October.
    11. Dalia Marciukaityte, 2015. "Right-to-Work Laws and Financial Leverage," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 147-175, March.
    12. Anginer, Deniz & Warburton, A. Joseph, 2010. "The Chrysler effect : the impact of the Chrysler bailout on borrowing costs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5462, The World Bank.
    13. Magali Jaoul-Grammare & Isabelle Terraz, 2013. "A Causality Analysis of Economic Growth and Union Density in European Countries," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(4), pages 421-442, December.
    14. Shameek Konar & Mark A. Cohen, 2001. "Does The Market Value Environmental Performance?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 281-289, May.
    15. Boodoo, Muhammad Umar, 2018. "Do heavily-unionized companies compensate their CEOs less in periods of financial distress? Evidence from Canadian companies during the financial crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69601, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Fang, Tony & Ge, Ying, 2013. "Chinese Unions and Enterprises Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 7870, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Cardullo, Gabriele & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2015. "Sunk capital, unions and the hold-up problem: Theory and evidence from cross-country sectoral data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 253-274.
    18. Muhammad Umar Boodoo, 2016. "Do heavily-unionized companies compensate their CEOs less in periods of financial distress? Evidence from Canadian companies during the financial crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67557, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    19. Galema, Rients & Plantinga, Auke & Scholtens, Bert, 2008. "The stocks at stake: Return and risk in socially responsible investment," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2646-2654, December.
    20. repec:eee:jfinec:v:125:y:2017:i:2:p:369-388 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Patrice Laroche & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2009. "Unions and Profits: A meta-regression Analysis," Post-Print hal-00648569, HAL.

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