IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Unions Improve Chinese Workers' Welfare - Results from 1,268 Firms


  • Yang Yao

    (China Center for Economic Research)

  • Ninghua Zhong


Based on a survey of 1,268 firms in 12 Chinese cities, this paper empirically studies the effects of unions on three aspects of workers welfare, namely, hourly wages, monthly working hours, and pension coverage. Our baseline results show that unionization increases hourly wage rates by 5.6%, reduces monthly working hours by 1.4%, and raises pension coverage by 12.3%. Taking the endogeneity of unionization into consideration, our 3SLS estimation finds larger effects. These results are robust in the subsample of domestic private enterprises where unions are less common than in other types of firms. Further econometric analysis has established two channels for unions to improve workers welfare, one by encouraging collective wage contracts, and the other by encouraging written contracts.

Suggested Citation

  • Yang Yao & Ninghua Zhong, 2010. "Unions Improve Chinese Workers' Welfare - Results from 1,268 Firms," Microeconomics Working Papers 22039, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:microe:22039

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Montobbio, Fabio & Rampa, Francesco, 2005. "The impact of technology and structural change on export performance in nine developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 527-547, April.
    2. Dijk, van M., 2001. "The Determinants of Export Performance in Developing Countries: The Case of Indonesian Manufacturing," Working Papers 02.01, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
    3. Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2001. "The determinants of export performance: A firm-level study of Italian manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(3), pages 450-472, September.
    4. Medalla, Erlinda M. & Pante, Filologo Jr., 1990. "The Philippine Industrial Sector: Policies, Programs and Performance," Working Papers WP 1990-18, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    5. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dr. Muhammad Tariq Khan & Prof. Dr. Naseer Ahmed Khan & Khalid Mahmood, 2012. "A Chronological Record Of Problems Of Unionization And Union Functioning In Asia," Far East Journal of Psychology and Business, Far East Research Centre, vol. 9(4), pages 48-56, December.

    More about this item


    Unionization; Chinese firms;

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eab:microe:22039. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shiro Armstrong). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.