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Anticipation, Free-Rider Problem, and Adaptation to Trade Union: Re-examining the Curious Case of Dissatisfied Union Members

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  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

    () (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper documents evidence that rejects the paradox of dissatisfied union members. Using eleven waves of the BHPS, it studies the past, contemporaneous, and future effects of union membership on job satisfaction. By separating union "free-riders" from other nonmembers in the fixed effects equations, I find significant anticipation effects to unionism for prospective members and covered nonmembers of both genders. Workers go on to report, on average, a significant net increase in overall job satisfaction at the year unionization occurs. Nonetheless, adaptation to unionism is complete within the first few years of joining a unionized firm. One hypothesis for this is that workers adapt their reported satisfaction over time to support their union bargaining efforts, which would be consistent with the explanation given by Freeman and Medoff (1984) of union’s role in fanning the flame of discontent to the management during contract negotiations.

Suggested Citation

  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2010. "Anticipation, Free-Rider Problem, and Adaptation to Trade Union: Re-examining the Curious Case of Dissatisfied Union Members," IZA Discussion Papers 4806, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4806
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Adaptation and the Easterlin Paradox," Working Papers halshs-01112725, HAL.
    2. Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Adaptation and the Easterlin Paradox," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-01112725, HAL.
    3. Alex Bryson & Michael White, 2016. "Unions and the economic basis of attitudes," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 360-378, July.
    4. David W. Johnston & Wang-Sheng Lee, 2013. "Extra Status and Extra Stress: Are Promotions Good for Us?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 66(1), pages 32-54, January.
    5. Alex Bryson & Michael White, 2016. "Not so dissatisfied after all? The impact of union coverage on job satisfaction," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 898-919.
    6. Hanglberger, Dominik & Merz, Joachim, 2011. "Are Self-Employed Really Happier Than Employees? An Approach Modelling Adaptation and Anticipation Effects to Self-Employment and General Job Changes," IZA Discussion Papers 5629, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Dominik Hanglberger & Joachim Merz, 2015. "Does self-employment really raise job satisfaction? Adaptation and anticipation effects on self-employment and general job changes," Working Papers 385, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. Colin Peter Green & John Spencer Heywood & Parvinder Kler & Gareth Leeves, 2016. "Paradox lost," Working Papers 107134075, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    9. Christian Grund & Andreas Schmitt, 2013. "Works councils, wages and job satisfaction," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 299-310, January.
    10. Ong, Qiyan & Theseira, Walter, 2016. "Does choosing jobs based on income risk lead to higher job satisfaction in the long run? Evidence from the natural experiment of German reunification," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 95-108.
    11. Diriwaechter, Patric & Shvartsman, Elena, 2018. "The anticipation and adaptation effects of intra- and interpersonal wage changes on job satisfaction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 116-140.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    longitudinal; adaptation; anticipation; job satisfaction; union membership; union coverage; free-rider;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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