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Why so Unhappy? The Effects of Unionisation on Job Satisfaction

  • Alex Bryson
  • Lorenzo Cappellari
  • Claudio Lucifora

We use linked employer-employee data to investigate the job satisfaction effect of unionisation in Britain. We depart from previous studies by developing a model that simultaneously controls for the endogeneity of union membership and union recognition. We show that a negative association between membership and satisfaction only emerges where there is a union recognised for bargaining, and that such an effect vanishes when the simultaneous selection into membership and recognition is taken into account. We also show that ignoring endogenous recognition would lead to conclude that membership has a positive effect on satisfaction. Our estimates indicate that the unobserved factors that lead to sorting across workplaces are negatively related to the ones determining membership and positively related with those generating satisfaction, a result that we interpret as being consistent with the existence of queues for union jobs.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-03/cesifo1_wp1419.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1419.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1419
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  1. Clark, A.E., 1995. "Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women so Happy at Work?," DELTA Working Papers 95-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2001. "The union membership wage-premium puzzle: is there a free rider problem?," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-09, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  3. Joni Hersch & Joe A. Stone, 1990. "Is Union Job Dissatisfaction Real?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4).
  4. Keith A. Bender & Peter J. Sloane, 1998. "Job satisfaction, trade unions, and exit-voice revisited," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(2), pages 222-240, January.
  5. Booth, Alison L & Bryan, Mark L, 2001. "The Union Membership Wage Premium Puzzle: Is There A Free-Rider Problem?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2879, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Alex Bryson & Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora, 2003. "Does Union Membership Really Reduce Job Satisfaction?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0569, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Segmentation, Switching Costs and the Demand for Unionization in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0568, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. George J. Borjas, 1979. "Job Satisfaction, Wages, and Unions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 21-40.
  9. John M. Abowd & Henry S. Farber, 1982. "Job queues and the union status of workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 354-367, April.
  10. Michael E. Gordon & Angelo S. Denisi, 1995. "A re-examination of the relationship between union membership and job satisfaction," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 222-236, January.
  11. John S. Heywood & W. S. Siebert & Xiangdong Wei, 2002. "Worker sorting and job satisfaction: The case of union and government jobs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(4), pages 595-609, July.
  12. Black, Dan A. & Smith, J.A.Jeffrey A., 2004. "How robust is the evidence on the effects of college quality? Evidence from matching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 99-124.
  13. Susan Schwochau, 1987. "Union effects on job attitudes," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(2), pages 209-224, January.
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