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How Trade Unions Increase Welfare

  • Alejandro Donado
  • Klaus Wälde

Historically, worker movements have played a crucial role in making workplaces safer. Firms traditionally oppose better health standards. According to our interpretation, workplace safety is costly for firms but increases the average health of workers and thereby the aggregate labour supply. A laissez-faire approach in which firms set safety standards is suboptimal as workers are not fully informed of health risks associated with jobs. Safety standards set by better-informed trade unions are output and welfare increasing.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-10/cesifo1_wp3618.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3618.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3618
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  1. Donado, Alejandro & Wälde, Klaus, 2009. "Trade unions go global!," IAB Discussion Paper 200903, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  2. Mezzetti, C. & Dinopoulos, E., 1989. "Domestic Unionization And Import Competition," Papers 337, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  3. Agell, Jonas, 1999. "On the Benefits from Rigid Labour Markets: Norms, Market Failures, and Social Insurance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F143-64, February.
  4. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1998. "Unions and Efficient Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 328-43, March.
  5. Malcomson, James M, 1983. "Trade Unions and Economic Efficiency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369a), pages 51-65, Supplemen.
  6. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
  7. Paul Fenn & Simon Ashby, 2004. "Workplace Risk, Establishment Size and Union Density," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(3), pages 461-480, 09.
  8. Price V. Fishback, 1998. "Operations of "Unfettered" Labor Markets: Exit and Voice in American Labor Markets at the Turn of the Century," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 722-765, June.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521464673 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416 Elsevier.
  11. Joshua Hall & Peter Leeson, 2007. "Good for the Goose, Bad for the Gander: International Labor Standards and Comparative Development," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 658-676, September.
  12. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  13. Shulamit Kahn, 1990. "What Occupational Safety Tells Us about Political Power in Union Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 481-496, Autumn.
  14. Boeri, Tito & Burda, Michael C., 2008. "Preferences for Collective versus Individualised Wage Setting," IZA Discussion Papers 3365, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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