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What Do Japanese Unions Do for Productivity?: An Empirical Analysis Using Firm-Level Data


  • MORIKAWA Masayuki


This paper empirically analyzes the relationship between union presence and firm performance in areas such as productivity and profitability by using data on a large number of Japanese firms, covering both manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries. Results indicate that the presence of labor unions has large positive effects on productivity level and growth. The effects of union presence on wages are also positive and the magnitude is similar to that of productivity. I find no negative effect for the presence of unions on firm profitability. These results differ from studies in the U.S. The number of employees decreases more for unionized firms than non-unionized firms. Most of the difference in employment is attributable to the change in the number of part-time workers. In order to enhance the productivity of the service sector, close cooperation between management and unions is required.

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  • MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2008. "What Do Japanese Unions Do for Productivity?: An Empirical Analysis Using Firm-Level Data," Discussion papers 08027, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:08027

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nishimura, Kiyohiko G. & Nakajima, Takanobu & Kiyota, Kozo, 2005. "Does the natural selection mechanism still work in severe recessions?: Examination of the Japanese economy in the 1990s," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 53-78, September.
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    7. Kyoji Fukao & Hyeog Ug Kwon, 2006. "Why Did Japan'S Tfp Growth Slow Down In The Lost Decade? An Empirical Analysis Based On Firm-Level Data Of Manufacturing Firms," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(2), pages 195-228.
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    11. Aw, Bee Yan & Chen, Xiaomin & Roberts, Mark J., 2001. "Firm-level evidence on productivity differentials and turnover in Taiwanese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 51-86, October.
    12. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2007. "Is Productivity in the Service Industries Low? An Analysis Using Firm-level Data on the Dispersion and the Dynamics of Productivity (Japanese)," Discussion Papers (Japanese) 07048, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    13. Barry T. Hirsch, 2004. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 415-456, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Souma, Wataru & Ikeda, Yuichi & Iyetomi, Hiroshi & Fujiwara, Yoshi, 2009. "Distribution of Labour Productivity in Japan over the Period 1996--2006," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-2, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    2. Dong, Zhiqiang & Luo, Zijun & Wei, Xiahai, 2016. "Social insurance with Chinese characteristics: The role of communist party in private firms," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 40-51.
    3. Fujiwara, Yoshi & Iyetomi, Hiroshi & Ikeda, Yuichi & Souma, Wataru, 2009. "Distribution of Labour Productivity in Japan over the Period 1996-2006," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 3, pages 1-14.

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