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The Impact of New Unionization on Wages and Working Conditions

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  • Freeman, Richard Barry
  • Kleiner, Morris M.

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of union organization on the wages and labor practices of establishments newly organized in the 1980s. It uses a research design in which establishments are "paired" with their closest nonunion competitor. It finds that, unionism had only a modest effect on wages in the newly organized plants, which contrasts sharply with the huge union wage impact found in cross-section comparisons of union and nonunion individuals,but unionism substantially alters several personnel practices, creating grievance systems, greater seniority protection, and job bidding and posting. That newly organized establishments adopt union working conditions but grant only modest wage increases suggests that "collective voice" rather than monopoly wage gains is the key to understanding new unionism.

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, Richard Barry & Kleiner, Morris M., 1990. "The Impact of New Unionization on Wages and Working Conditions," Scholarly Articles 4632238, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4632238
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    1. Richard B. Freeman, 1981. "The Effect of Unionism on Fringe Benefits," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(4), pages 489-509, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andréasson, Hannes, 2014. "The effect of decentralized wage bargaining on the structure of wages and firm performance," Ratio Working Papers 241, The Ratio Institute.
    2. Alan B. Krueger & Douglas Kruse, 1995. "Labor Market Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries in the Dawn of the Computer Age," Working Papers 728, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. Carlos Casacuberta & Gabriela Fachola & Nestor Gandelman, 2004. "The impact of trade liberalization on employment, capital, and productivity dynamics: evidence from the uruguayan manufacturing sector," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 225-248.
    4. Suyoun Han & Morris M. Kleiner, 2016. "Analyzing the Influence of Occupational Licensing Duration and Grandfathering on Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 22810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. David S. Lee & Alexandre Mas, 2012. "Long-Run Impacts of Unions on Firms: New Evidence from Financial Markets, 1961--1999," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 333-378.
    6. Toke Aidt & Zafiris Tzannatos, 2002. "Unions and Collective Bargaining : Economic Effects in a Global Environment," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15241, January.
    7. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 2005. "New Survey Evidence on Recent Changes in UK Union Recognition," CEP Discussion Papers dp0685, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. Vanessa V Tinsley, 2003. "Firms and Layoffs: The Impact of Unionization on Involuntary Job Loss," Working Papers 03-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Aaron J. Sojourner & Brigham R. Frandsen & Robert J. Town & David C. Grabowski & Min M. Chen, 2015. "Impacts of Unionization on Quality and Productivity," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(4), pages 771-806, August.
    10. Federico Boffa, 2004. "Redistributing through Unions," Labor and Demography 0402002, EconWPA.
    11. Douglas L. Kruse, 1996. "Why Do Firms Adopt Profit-Sharing and Employee Ownership Plans?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 515-538, December.
    12. Schenk, Tom, Jr., 2007. "The effects of graduate-student unionization," ISU General Staff Papers 2007010108000015881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    13. John DiNardo & David S. Lee, 2002. "The Impact of Unionization on Establishment Closure: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Representation Elections," NBER Working Papers 8993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Michele Campolieti & Rafael Gomez & Morley Gunderson, 2013. "Managerial Hostility and Attitudes Towards Unions: A Canada-US Comparison," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 99-119, March.
    15. Kleiner, Morris M & Kudrle, Robert T, 2000. "Does Regulation Affect Economic Outcomes? The Case of Dentistry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 547-582, October.
    16. Douglas L. Kruse & Joseph R. Blasi & Rhokeun Park, 2010. "Shared Capitalism in the U.S. Economy: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Employee Views of Financial Participation in Enterprises," NBER Chapters,in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 41-75 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Ruiz-Verdu, Pablo, 2007. "The economics of union organization: Efficiency, information and profitability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 848-868, October.
    18. Michael F. Lovenheim, 2009. "The Effect of Teachers' Unions on Education Production: Evidence from Union Election Certifications in Three Midwestern States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(4), pages 525-587, October.
    19. Morris M. Kleiner, 2000. "Occupational Licensing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 189-202, Fall.
    20. Kleiner, Morris M. & Han, Suyoun, 2017. "Analyzing the Influence of Occupational Licensing Duration and Grandfathering on Labor Market Outcomes," Staff Report 556, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    21. Morris M. Kleiner & Robert T. Kudrle, 1997. "Does Regulation Affect Economic Outcomes?: The Case of Dentistry," NBER Working Papers 5869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Labadi, Moufida & Nekhili, Mehdi, 2012. "Structure de propriété et partage de la valeur ajoutée : application aux entreprises françaises non financières du SBF120," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 12.

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