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The Economic Effects of Labor Unions Revisited

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  • RICHARD VEDDER
  • LOWELL GALLAWAY

Abstract

Using a variety of statistical techniques, we conclude that labor unions have reduced U.S. output by significant amounts -- trillions of dollars over time. Additionally, the employment-population ratio and the unemployment rate have been adversely affected by the presence of unions. From the very beginning, unionization materially lowered employment in the auto and steel industries, and union militancy in coal mining has contributed importantly to largely eliminating employment in this once large industry. While some individual workers have profited from unions, the aggregate economic impact is strongly negative.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Vedder & Lowell Gallaway, 2002. "The Economic Effects of Labor Unions Revisited," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 23(1), pages 105-130, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:tra:jlabre:v:23:y:2002:i:1:p:105-130
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Tsung-Kang & Chen, Yan-Shing & Liao, Hsien-Hsing, 2011. "Labor unions, bargaining power and corporate bond yield spreads: Structural credit model perspectives," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 2084-2098, August.
    2. Steve Fleetwood, 2007. "Austrian economics and the analysis of labor markets," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 247-267, December.
    3. Gose, Karina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2014. "Strike, coordination, and dismissal in uniform wage settings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 145-158.

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