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Municipal Employment, Municipal Unions, and Demand for Municipal Services

  • Jeffrey S. Zax

Municipal unions may often use their own votes and those of sympathetic fellow citizens to promote increases in demand for municipal services. If successful, this strategy can increase member employment levels without sacrificing compensation. Municipal employee unionization significantly increases levels of annual manhours and employment per capita, and reduces annual hours of workper employee. The net effect of average unionization levels is to increase employees per capita by at least 4.7%, and manhours per capita by at least 3.3%, over levels that would prevail in the absence of municipal unions. These effects occur almost entirely in functions withr ecognized bargaining units. In these functions, employment levels are at least 9.9% higher than they would be in the absence of unionization.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1728.

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Date of creation: Oct 1985
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Publication status: published as Industrial Relations, vol 82, no.1, pp21-31, Winter 1989.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1728
Note: LS
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  1. John H. Pencavel, 1982. "The Trade-Off between Wages and Employment in Trade Union Objectives," NBER Working Papers 0870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert E. Hall & David M. Lilien, 1978. "Efficient Wage Bargains Under Uncertain Supply and Demand," NBER Working Papers 0306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Edward M. Gramlich & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1982. "Voting on public spending: Differences between public employees, transfer recipients, and private workers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(4), pages 516-533.
  7. Courant, Paul N & Gramlich, Edward M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1979. "Public Employee Market Power and the Level of Government Spending," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 806-17, December.
  8. Inman, Robert P, 1982. "The Economic Case for Limits to Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 176-83, May.
  9. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  10. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  11. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  12. Gramlich, Edward M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1982. "Micro Estimates of Public Spending Demand Functions and Tests of the Tiebout and Median-Voter Hypotheses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 536-60, June.
  13. Ott, Mack, 1980. "Bureaucracy, monopoly, and the demand for municipal services," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 362-382, November.
  14. Freeman, Richard B, 1986. "Unionism Comes to the Public Sector," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 41-86, March.
  15. Pencavel, John, 1985. " Wages and Employment under Trade Unionism: Microeconomic Models and Macroeconomic Applications," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 197-225.
  16. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
  17. Warren-Boulton, Frederick R, 1977. "Vertical Control by Labor Unions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 309-22, June.
  18. Darold T. Barnum & I. B. Helburn, 1982. "Influencing the electorate: Experience with referenda on public employee bargaining," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 330-342, April.
  19. Jeffrey S. Zax, 1985. "Labor Relations, Wages and Nonwage Compensation in Municipal Employment," NBER Working Papers 1582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Farber, Henry S, 1978. "Individual Preferences and Union Wage Determination: The Case of the United Mine Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 923-42, October.
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