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Estimating union wage effects in Great Britain during 1991-2003

  • Georgios Marios Chrysanthou


Using a dynamic model of unionism and wage determination we find that the unobserved factors that influence union membership also affect wages. The estimates suggest that UK trade unions still play a non-negligible, albeit diminishing, role in wage formation. It appears that the greater impact of un observables in determining individual union propensity concerning the second period under analysis, versus past unionisation experience, implies that those remaining in unions during (1997-2002) gain most from their sorting decision. The significant contribution of unobserved heterogeneity renders the total union wage differential highly variable across individuals. The endogeneity correction procedure employed yields a discernible pattern of the estimated union wage effect relative to OLS and Fixed effects. This is in line with Robinson (1989a) and Vella and Verbeek (1998) and refutes the pessimistic conclusions reached by Freeman and Medoff (1982) and Lewis (1986) that endogeneity correction methodologies do not contribute to our understanding of the union wage effect puzzle.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we082214.

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Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we082214
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  1. Swaffield, Joanna K, 2001. " Does Measurement Error Bias Fixed-Effects Estimates of the Union Wage Effect?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(4), pages 437-57, September.
  2. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2006. "Calculation of Multivariate Normal Probabilities by Simulation, with Applications to Maximum Simulated Likelihood Estimation," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 584, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Arellano, M. & Bover, O. & Labeaga, J.M., 1997. "Autoregressive Models with Sample Selectivity for Panel Data," Papers 9706, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  4. Freeman, Richard Barry, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Scholarly Articles 4631951, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. R Disney & A Gosling & Stephen Machin, 1993. "What has Happened to Union Recognition in Britain?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0130, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Duncan, Gregory M & Leigh, Duane E, 1985. "The Endogeneity of Union Status: An Empirical Test," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 385-402, July.
  7. Ivan Fernandez-Val & Frank Vella, 2007. "Bias corrections for two-step fixed effects panel data estimators," CeMMAP working papers CWP04/07, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Topel, Robert H & Ward, Michael P, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-79, May.
  9. Mark B. Stewart, 2007. "The interrelated dynamics of unemployment and low-wage employment," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 511-531.
  10. 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.
  11. William W. Gould & Jeffrey Pitblado & Brian Poi, 2010. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation with Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 4, number ml4, November.
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