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The Economic Effects of Unions in Latin America: Their Impact on Wages and the Economic Performance of Firms in Uruguay

  • Adriana Cassoni
  • Gastón J. Labadie
  • Gabriela Fachola

This study examines the impact of unionization and the level of centralization in bargaining, at the level of the industry or the firm, on wages and on the economic performance of firms within the manufacturing sector in Uruguay, using a panel of establishments for the period 1988 to 1995. The main findings suggest that unionization increases wages and employment and promotes investment due to firms substituting labor by capital. Unions tend to organize in those plants with highest rates of profits, but promote increases in productivity and prevent profitability increases. Given the negative effect of unionization at the industry level on the rate of growth of profitability of firms, results also suggest that unions tended to organize and to be stronger in those sectors in which extra rents were higher due to monopoly power.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 43358.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:43358
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  1. Carruth, Alan A & Oswald, Andrew J, 1987. "On Union Preferences and Labour Market Models: Insiders and Outsi ders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(386), pages 431-45, June.
  2. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to Cross-National Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John M. Abowd & Laurence Allain, 1996. "Compensation Structure and Product Market Competition," NBER Working Papers 5493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521144056 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Machin, Stephen J & Wadhwani, Sushil, 1991. "The Effects of Unions on Organisational Change and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 835-54, July.
  6. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
  7. Rama, Martin, 1994. "Bargaining structure and economic performance in the open economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 403-415, February.
  8. Oswald, A. J., 1995. "Efficient contracts are on the labour demand curve: Theory and facts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 102-102, March.
  9. Van Reenen, John, 1994. "The Creation and Capture of Rents: Wages and Innovation in a Panel of UK Companies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Adriana Cassoni & Steven G. Allen & Gaston J. Labadie, 2004. "Unions and Employment in Uruguay," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 435-496 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Manning, Alan, 1987. "An Integration of Trade Union Models in a Sequential Bargaining Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 121-39, March.
  12. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  13. A. Cassoni & G. Labadie, 2001. "The outcome of different bargaining models: the effects on wages, employment and the employment mix," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1401, Department of Economics - dECON.
  14. Dow, Gregory K, 1993. "Why Capital Hires Labor: A Bargaining Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 118-34, March.
  15. Hirsch, Barry T. & Prasad, Kislaya, 1995. "Wage-employment determination and a union tax on capital: Can theory and evidence be reconciled?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 61-71, April.
  16. Boal, William M & Pencavel, John, 1994. "The Effects of Labor Unions on Employment, Wages, and Days of Operation: Coal Mining in West Virginia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 267-98, February.
  17. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521663236 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Alonso-Borrego, Cesar & Arellano, Manuel, 1999. "Symmetrically Normalized Instrumental-Variable Estimation Using Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 36-49, January.
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