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Unions and Plant Closings in Britain: New Evidence from the 1990/98 WERS

Author

Listed:
  • Addison, John T.

    () (University of South Carolina)

  • Heywood, John S.

    () (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)

  • Wei, Xiangdong

    () (Lingnan University)

Abstract

In this paper we exploit the longitudinal element of the 1990 and 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Surveys for Britain to investigate the effect of unionism on establishment closings. Contrary to both recent U.S. research and British work using information from the earlier workplace surveys, we find a robust positive association between two measures of unionism - union recognition for collective bargaining purposes and union coverage - and plant closings. This association survives the incorporation of very detailed industry controls but is driven by plants that are parts of multi-establishment enterprises. There appears to be little or no statistically significant association for single plant enterprises. In explaining our findings, we address their consistency with the widely perceived reduction in the "disadvantages of [British] unionism" in recent years.

Suggested Citation

  • Addison, John T. & Heywood, John S. & Wei, Xiangdong, 2001. "Unions and Plant Closings in Britain: New Evidence from the 1990/98 WERS," IZA Discussion Papers 352, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp352
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Blanchflower, David G., 2006. "A Cross-Country Study of Union Membership," IZA Discussion Papers 2016, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Addison, John T. & Siebert, W. Stanley, 2002. "Changes in Collective Bargaining in the U.K," IZA Discussion Papers 562, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Addison, John T. & Belfield, Clive R., 2002. "Unions and Employment Growth: The One Constant?," IZA Discussion Papers 479, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Alex Bryson, 2004. "Unions and Workplace Closure in Britain, 1990-1998," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 282-302, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    union recognition; union coverage; plant closures; WERS;

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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