Can Union Labor Ever Cost Less?
This paper examines the effect of unions on efficiency by estimating cost function systems over three different sets of construction projects. The results show that union contractors have greater economies of scale. This gives them a cost advantage in large commercial office buildings, but in school and hospital construction, nonunion contractors have lower costs at all output levels. Despite the cost differences, profits for nonunion contractors in school and hospital construction are no higher than those for union contractors because the burden of higher union costs is shifted to buyers.
|Date of creation:||Sep 1986|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Allen, Steven G. "Can Union Labor Ever Cost Less?" Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 102, No. 2, May 1987, pp. 347-373.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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- Ruback, Richard S & Zimmerman, Martin B, 1984. "Unionization and Profitability: Evidence from the Capital Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1134-57, December.
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- Allen, Steven G, 1983. "Much Ado about Davis-Bacon: A Critical Review and New Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 707-36, October.
- Christensen, Laurits R & Greene, William H, 1976. "Economies of Scale in U.S. Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 655-76, August.
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