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Unions, temporary employment and hours of work: a tale of two countries

  • Francesconi, Marco
  • Garcia-Serrano, Carlos

This paper is the first attempt to analyse the relationship between unionisation, temporary employment and non-standard hours of work, comparing Spain and Britain, which are characterised by relatively different labour market structures and substantially different degrees of employment protections. Despite such differences, these two countries show remarkably similar responses of unionisation to flexible employment. In particular, we find that union recognition in Britain and firm-level union presence in Spain do not respond to changes in long hours of work, overtime hours and temporary employment, whereas part-time employment is negatively correlated with union recognition in both countries. We find, however, some important differences between the two countries when the samples are stratified by industry. In Britain, the negative correlation between union coverage and part-time employment is especially marked for workers in the service industries. In Spain, instead, most of the action involves firms in manufacturing and other industries. These different responses of unionisation to flexible employment may be the result of the different industrial structures which characterise the two economies. But they may also reflect the different way in which trade unions operate within each labour market.

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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2002-03.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2002
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2002-03
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Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/
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  1. Dolado, Juan J. & Felgueroso, Florentino & Jimeno, Juan F., 1997. "The effects of minimum bargained wages on earnings: Evidence from Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 713-721, April.
  2. Freeman, Richard B, 1980. "The Exit-Voice Tradeoff in the Labor Market: Unionism, Job Tenure, Quits, and Separations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 643-73, June.
  3. Dolado, Juan J. & Garcia-Serrano, Carlos & Jimeno, Juan F, 2001. "Drawing Lessons From the Boom of Temporary Jobs in Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 2884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Stephen Machin, 2000. "Union decline in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20191, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Modesto Escobar, 1995. "Spain: Works Councils or Unions?," NBER Chapters, in: Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations, pages 153-188 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Arulampalam, W., 1998. "A Note on Estimated Coefficients in Random Effects Probit Models," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 520, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  8. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
  9. Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-48, June.
  10. Parsons, Donald O, 1972. "Specific Human Capital: An Application to Quit Rates and Layoff Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1120-43, Nov.-Dec..
  11. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi, 2003. "Union coverage and non-standard work in Britain," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 383-416, July.
  12. Lewis, Roy, 1991. "Reforming Industrial Relations: Law, Politics, and Power," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 60-75, Spring.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521464673 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1979. "The Two Faces of Unionism," NBER Working Papers 0364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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