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Unions and Job Security in the Public Sector

In: When Public Sector Workers Unionize

  • Steven G. Allen

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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This chapter was published in:
  • Richard B. Freeman & Casey Ichniowski, 1988. "When Public Sector Workers Unionize," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free88-1, May.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 7913.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:7913
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. 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.
    2. Eberts, Randall W., 1987. "Union-negotiated employment rules and teacher quits," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 15-25, February.
    3. Medoff, James L, 1979. "Layoffs and Alternatives under Trade Unions in U.S. Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 380-95, June.
    4. Charles R. Perry, 1979. "Teacher bargaining: The experience in nine systems," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(1), pages 3-17, October.
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