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Unions and Job Security in the Public Sector

In: When Public Sector Workers Unionize

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  • Steven G. Allen

Abstract

This study examines the effect of unions on job security in the public and private sectors. Despite much lower unemployment rates for public than private sector workers, once one controls for differences in worker and job characteristics, the odds of being unemployed are identical for nonunion workers in the public and private sectors. The picture is quite different for union workers, who face greater odds of becoming unemployed than nonunion workers in private sector jobs but much lower chances of becoming unemployed in the public sector. The ability of unions to reduce layoff and unemployment rates in the public sector seems attributable to the political power to prevent budget cuts and the absence of Unemployment Insurance subsidies or supplemental unemployment benefits.
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Suggested Citation

  • Steven G. Allen, 1988. "Unions and Job Security in the Public Sector," NBER Chapters,in: When Public Sector Workers Unionize, pages 271-304 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:7913
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven G. Allen, 1988. "Unions and Job Security in the Public Sector," NBER Chapters,in: When Public Sector Workers Unionize, pages 271-304 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-793, August.
    3. Altonji, Joseph G & Ham, John C, 1990. "Variation in Employment Growth in Canada: The Role of External, National, Regional, and Industrial Factors," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 198-236, January.
    4. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
    5. Medoff, James L, 1979. "Layoffs and Alternatives under Trade Unions in U.S. Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 380-395, June.
    6. Charles R. Perry, 1979. "Teacher Bargaining: The Experience in Nine Systems," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(1), pages 3-17, October.
    7. Freeman, Richard B, 1986. "Unionism Comes to the Public Sector," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 41-86, March.
    8. Eberts, Randall W., 1987. "Union-negotiated employment rules and teacher quits," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 15-25, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Casacuberta & Gabriela Fachola & Nestor Gandelman, 2004. "The impact of trade liberalization on employment, capital, and productivity dynamics: evidence from the uruguayan manufacturing sector," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 225-248.
    2. Steven G. Allen, 1988. "Unions and Job Security in the Public Sector," NBER Chapters,in: When Public Sector Workers Unionize, pages 271-304 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3573-3630 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Adriana Cassoni & Steven G. Allen & Gaston J. Labadie, 2000. "The Effect of Unions on Employment: Evidence from an Unnatural Experiment in Uruguay," NBER Working Papers 7501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Gregory, Robert G. & Borland, Jeff, 1999. "Recent developments in public sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 53, pages 3573-3630 Elsevier.
    6. Benjamin Artz & Ilker Kaya, 2014. "Job insecurity and job satisfaction in the United States: the case of public sector union workers," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 103-120, March.
    7. Néstor Gandelman & Carlos Casacuberta & Gabriela Fachola, 2004. "The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Employment, Capital and Productivity Dynamics:," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 97, Econometric Society.

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