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Who do Unions Target? Unionization over the Life-Cycle of U.S. Businesses

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  • Emin Dinlersoz
  • Jeremy Greenwood
  • Henry Hyatt

Abstract

What type of businesses do unions target for organizing? A dynamic model of the union organizing process is constructed to answer this question. A union monitors establishments in an industry to learn about their productivity, and decides which ones to organize and when. An establishment becomes unionized if the union targets it for organizing and wins the union certification election. The model predicts two main selection effects: unions organizing occurs in larger and more productive establishments early in their life-cycles, and among the establishments targeted for organizing, unions are more likely to win elections in smaller and less productive ones. These predictions find support in union certification election data for 1977-2007 matched with data on establishment characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20151
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy Greenwood & David Weiss, 2018. "Mining Surplus: Modeling James A. Schmitz'S Link Between Competition And Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1015-1034, August.
    2. Lingens, Jörg & De Pinto, Marco & Bauer, Christian, 2016. "The Impact of Organization Costs when Firm-selection Matters," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145620, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer & John Haltiwanger, 2014. "Cyclical Reallocation of Workers Across Large and Small Employers," 2014 Meeting Papers 735, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Simeon Alder & David Lagakos & Lee Ohanian, 2014. "Competitive Pressure and the Decline of the Rust Belt: A Macroeconomic Analysis," NBER Working Papers 20538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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