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Unions and Workers' Welfare in Chinese Firms

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  • Yang Yao
  • Ninghua Zhong

Abstract

Based on a survey of 1,268 firms in 12 cities, this article empirically studies unions' effects on worker welfare in China. Regressions carried out on a rich set of specifications show that unionization is significantly associated with higher hourly wages and larger pension coverage and weakly associated with lower monthly working hours. Further econometric analysis finds that unions promote individual and collective contracts. The effect of collective contracts vanishes when unions are present, whereas individual contracts have independent and positive effects. In addition, unions have effects on workers' welfare independent of collective and individual contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Yang Yao & Ninghua Zhong, 2013. "Unions and Workers' Welfare in Chinese Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 633-667.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/669819
    DOI: 10.1086/669819
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    3. Wang, Wen & Lien, Donald, 2018. "Union membership, union coverage and wage dispersion of rural migrants: Evidence from Suzhou industrial sector," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 96-113.
    4. Prema†chandra Athukorala & Zheng Wei, 2018. "Economic Transition And Labour Market Dynamics In China: An Interpretative Survey Of The €˜Turning Point’ Debate," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 420-439, April.
    5. Thang Ngoc Bach & Canh Quang Le & Thang Van Nguyen, 2021. "Rent Sharing, Investment, and Collective Bargaining: Evidence from Employee‐Level Data in Vietnam," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 59(1), pages 3-38, March.
    6. Wenjing Duan & Pedro S. Martins, 2018. "Rent sharing in China: Magnitude, heterogeneity and drivers," Working Papers 96, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    7. Song, Yang & Yang, Jidong & Yang, Qijing, 2016. "Do firms' political connections depress the union wage effect? Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 183-198.
    8. Firth, Michael & Leung, Tak Yan & Rui, Oliver M. & Na, Chaohong, 2015. "Relative pay and its effects on firm efficiency in a transitional economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 59-77.
    9. Matthieu Crozet & Laura Hering & Sandra Poncet, 2018. "Looking for the Bright Side of the China Syndrome: Rising Export Opportunities and Life Satisfaction in China," Working Papers 2018-14, CEPII research center.
    10. Peng, Fei & Huang, Wei & Kang, Lili, 2015. "Open Economy, Global Value Chain and Corporate Social Responsibility in China," MPRA Paper 64612, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Zheng Wei, 2015. "Economic Transition and Labour Market Dynamics in China: An Interpretative Survey of the ‘Turning Point’ Debate," Departmental Working Papers 2015-06, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    12. Kritkorn Nawakitphaitoon & Xuan Chen & Yuhao Ge, 2016. "State and Non-state Earnings Differentials over Time in China’s Urban Labor Market: Evidence from the Urban Household Survey (1994–2007)," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 287-316, September.
    13. Duanyi Yang, 2020. "Why Don’t They Complain? The Social Determinants of Chinese Migrant Workers’ Grievance Behaviors," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 73(2), pages 366-392, March.
    14. Fang Cooke, 2014. "Chinese industrial relations research: In search of a broader analytical framework and representation," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 875-898, September.
    15. Qingjun WU & Zhaoyang SUN, 2014. "Collective consultation under quota management: China's government-led model of labour relations regulation," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 153(4), pages 609-633, December.
    16. John Budd & Wei Chi & Yijiang Wang & Qianyun Xie, 2014. "What Do Unions in China Do? Provincial-Level Evidence on Wages, Employment, Productivity, and Economic Output," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 185-204, June.
    17. Rickne, Johanna, 2013. "Labor market conditions and social insurance in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 52-68.
    18. Zhong, Ninghua, 2015. "Corporate governance of Chinese privatized firms: Evidence from a survey of non-listed enterprises," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 1101-1121.
    19. Feng, Shuaizhang & Guo, Naijia, 2019. "Labor Market Dynamics in Urban China and the Role of the State Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 12170, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Dong, Zhiqiang & Luo, Zijun & Wei, Xiahai, 2016. "Social insurance with Chinese characteristics: The role of communist party in private firms," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 40-51.
    21. Shuaizhang Feng & Naijia Guo, 2019. "Labor Market Dynamics in Urban China and the Role of the State Sector," Working Papers 2019-008, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    22. Huasheng Zhu & Junwei Feng & Maojun Wang & Fan Xu, 2017. "Sustaining Regional Advantages in Manufacturing: Skill Accumulation of Rural–Urban Migrant Workers in the Coastal Area of China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-23, January.
    23. Wolf-Heimo Grieben & Fuat Sener, 2012. "North-South Trade, Unemployment and Growth: What’s the Role of Labor Unions?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-06, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    24. Sajid Anwar & Sizhong Sun, 2015. "Unionisation and Firm Performance in China’s Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 78-102, March.
    25. Chih‐Hai Yang & Meng‐Wen Tsou, 2018. "Labour Unions and Firm Productivity: Evidence from China," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 86(6), pages 699-721, December.

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