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Unions and the Economic Performanceof Brazilian Establishments


  • Naercio Menezes-Filho
  • Helio Zylberstajn
  • Jose Paulo Chahad
  • Elaine Pazello


Using a pooled sample, this paper indicates that unions seem to affect the economic performance of Brazilian establishments, especially in terms of profitability, employment and productivity. Unions tend to reduce profitability, whereas the relationship between union density and productivity, employment and average wages seems to be concave. These performance indicators first rise with union density up to a certain density level (usually about 50 percent) and then start to decline. These results indicate that some unionism may be good for the plants` economic performance, although too much unionism may start having negative effects.

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  • Naercio Menezes-Filho & Helio Zylberstajn & Jose Paulo Chahad & Elaine Pazello, 2002. "Unions and the Economic Performanceof Brazilian Establishments," Research Department Publications 3157, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3157

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
    3. Menezes-Filho, Naercio Aquino, 1997. "Unions and Profitability over the 1980s: Some Evidence on Union-Firm Bargaining in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 651-670, May.
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    6. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    7. 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.
    8. Stewart, Mark B, 1990. "Union Wage Differentials, Product Market Influences and the Division of Rents," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1122-1137, December.
    9. Gregg, Paul & Machin, Stephen & Metcalf, David, 1993. "Signals and Cycles? Productivity Growth and Changes in Union Status in British Companies, 1984-9," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 894-907, July.
    10. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
    11. Dobson, Paul W., 1994. "Multifirm unions and the incentive to adopt pattern bargaining in oligopoly," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 87-100, January.
    12. Naercio Menezes-Filho & David Ulph & John Van Reenen, 1998. "R&D and Unionism: Comparative Evidence from British Companies and Establishments," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 45-63, October.
    13. Grout, Paul A, 1984. "Investment and Wages in the Absence of Binding Contracts: A Nash Bargining Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 449-460, March.
    14. Edward Amadeo & Valeria Pero, 2000. "Adjustment, stabilisation and the structure of employment in Brazil," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 120-148.
    15. Gaston, Noel & Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "Union wage sensitivity to trade and protection: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 1-25, August.
    16. Driffill, John & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1995. " Trade Liberalization with Imperfect Competition in Goods and Labour Markets," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 223-243, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard B. Freeman, 2009. "Labor Regulations, Unions, and Social Protection in Developing Countries: Market distortions or Efficient Institutions?," NBER Working Papers 14789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:ilo:ilowps:433276 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2004. "Employment regulations through the eyes of employers - do they matter and how do firms respond to them?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3463, The World Bank.
    4. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2007. "How labor market policies can combine workers'protection with job creation : a partial review of some key issues and policy options," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 41439, The World Bank.
    5. Menezes-Filho, Naercio & Van Reenen, John, 2003. "Unions and Innovation: A Survey of the Theory and Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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