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Impacts of Unionization on Employment, Product Quality and Productivity: Regression Discontinuity Evidence From Nursing Homes

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  • Aaron J. Sojourner
  • Robert J. Town
  • David C. Grabowski
  • Michelle M. Chen

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of nursing home unionization on numerous labor, establishment, and consumer outcomes using a regression discontinuity design. We find negative effects of unionization on staffing levels and no decline in care quality, suggesting positive labor productivity effects. Some evidence suggests that nursing homes in less competitive local product markets and those with lower union density at the time of election experienced stronger union employment effects. Unionization appears to raise wages for a given worker while also shifting the composition of the workforce away from higher-earning workers. By combining credible identification of union effects, a comprehensive set of outcomes over time with measures of market-level characteristics, this study generates some of the best evidence available on many controversial questions in the economics of unions. Furthermore, it generates evidence from the service sector, which has grown in importance and where evidence has been thin.

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron J. Sojourner & Robert J. Town & David C. Grabowski & Michelle M. Chen, 2012. "Impacts of Unionization on Employment, Product Quality and Productivity: Regression Discontinuity Evidence From Nursing Homes," NBER Working Papers 17733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17733
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    Cited by:

    1. Emin Dinlersoz & Jeremy Greenwood & Henry Hyatt, 2014. "Who do Unions Target? Unionization over the Life-Cycle of U.S. Businesses," NBER Working Papers 20151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sojourner, Aaron J. & Yang, Jooyoung, 2015. "Effects of Unionization on Workplace-Safety Enforcement: Regression-Discontinuity Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 9610, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Petra Marotzke & Robert Anderton & Ana Bairrao & Clémence Berson & Peter Tóth, 2016. "Wage adjustment and employment in Europe," Discussion Papers 2016-19, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    4. John T. Addison, 2016. "Collective bargaining systems and macroeconomic and microeconomic flexibility: the quest for appropriate institutional forms in advanced economies," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-53, December.
    5. Cassandra M.D. Hart & Aaron J. Sojourner, 2015. "Unionization and Productivity: Evidence from Charter Schools," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 422-448, July.
    6. Tobias Brändle & Laszlo Goerke, 2015. "The One Constant: A Causal Effect of Collective Bargaining on Employment Growth? Evidence from German Linked-Employer-Employee Data," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201501, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    7. Rudy Douven & Minke Remmerswaal & Ilaria Mosca, 2014. "Unintended effects of reimbursement schedules in mental health care," CPB Discussion Paper 292, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    8. Douven, Rudy & Remmerswaal, Minke & Mosca, Ilaria, 2015. "Unintended effects of reimbursement schedules in mental health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 139-150.
    9. Arindrajit Dube & Ethan Kaplan & Owen Thompson, 2016. "Nurse Unions and Patient Outcomes," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 69(4), pages 803-833, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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