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Effects of Unionization on Workplace-Safety Enforcement: Regression-Discontinuity Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Sojourner, Aaron

    (Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)

  • Yang, Jooyoung

    (University of Minnesota)

Abstract

We study how union certification affects the enforcement of workplace-safety laws. To generate credible causal estimates, a regression discontinuity design compares outcomes in establishments where unions barely won representation elections to outcomes in establishments where union barely lost such elections. The study combines two main datasets: the census of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) representation elections and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) enforcement database since 1985. There is evidence of positive effects of union certification on establishment's rate of OSHA inspection, the share of inspections carried out in the presence of a labor representative, violations cited, and penalties assessed.

Suggested Citation

  • Sojourner, Aaron & Yang, Jooyoung, 2015. "Effects of Unionization on Workplace-Safety Enforcement: Regression-Discontinuity Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 9610, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9610
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. John-Paul Ferguson, 2008. "The Eyes of the Needles: A Sequential Model of Union Organizing Drives, 1999–2004," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 62(1), pages 3-21, October.
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    5. 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.
    6. 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, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 127(1), pages 333-378.
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    8. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Song, Yang & Yang, Jidong & Yang, Qijing, 2016. "Do firms' political connections depress the union wage effect? Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 183-198.
    2. Pierre Blavier & Jérôme Pélisse, 2022. "Négocier collectivement les salaires en entreprise : quels effets de la (non-)mobilisation des salarié·es ?," SciencePo Working papers Main hal-03887461, HAL.
    3. Danielle Lamb & Rafael Gomez & Milad Moghaddas, 2022. "Unions and hazard pay for COVID‐19: Evidence from the Canadian Labour Force Survey," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 60(3), pages 606-634, September.
    4. Ling Li & Shawn Rohlin & Perry Singleton, 2022. "Labor Unions and Workplace Safety," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 75(2), pages 402-426, March.
    5. Pierre Blavier & Jérôme Pélisse, 2022. "Négocier collectivement les salaires en entreprise : quels effets de la (non-)mobilisation des salarié·es ?," Post-Print hal-03887461, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    workplace accidents; OSHA inspections; union(s); effects; labor market institutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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