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The Exit-Voice Tradeoff in the Labor Market: Unionism, Job Tenure, Quits

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  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of trade unionism on the exit behavior of workers in the context of Hirschman's exit-voice dichotomy. Unionism is expected to reduce quits and permanent separations and raise job tenure by providing a "voice" alternative to exit when workers are dissatisfied with conditions. Empirical evidence supports this contention, showing significantly lower exit for unionists in several large data tapes. It is argued that the grievance system plays a major role in the reduction in exit and that the reduction lowers cost and raises productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard B. Freeman, 1980. "The Exit-Voice Tradeoff in the Labor Market: Unionism, Job Tenure, Quits," NBER Working Papers 0242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0242
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Medoff, James L, 1979. "Layoffs and Alternatives under Trade Unions in U.S. Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 380-395, June.
    2. Kahn, Lawrence M, 1977. "Union Impact: A Reduced Form Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(4), pages 503-507, November.
    3. Freeman, Richard B, 1976. "Individual Mobility and Union Voice in the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 361-368, May.
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