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

Author

Listed:
  • Sojourner, Aaron

    (University of Minnesota)

  • 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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    1. 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.
    2. John W. Budd & Brian P. McCall, 1997. "The Effect of Unions on the Receipt of Unemployment Insurance Benefits," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 478-492, April.
    3. Alan I. Barreca & Melanie Guldi & Jason M. Lindo & Glen R. Waddell, 2011. "Saving Babies? Revisiting the effect of very low birth weight classification," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 2117-2123.
    4. 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.
    5. Thomas J. Holmes, 2006. "Geographic Spillover of Unionism," NBER Working Papers 12025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Richard B. Freeman & Morris M. Kleiner, 1999. "Do Unions Make Enterprises Insolvent?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(4), pages 510-527, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    9. John DiNardo & David S. Lee, 2004. "Economic Impacts of New Unionization on Private Sector Employers: 1984–2001," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1383-1441.
    10. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 333-378.
    11. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
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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.

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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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