Do Unions Make Enterprises Insolvent?
This study investigates the impact of unionization and firm, business line, or establishment survival. A consistent empirical finding is that unions raise wages above those found in nonunion firms, and that in a competitive product market one would expect to find that unionized firms would go out of business more than nonunion firms. However, if unions engage in economic rent-sharing, then during periods of economic hardship unionized firms may be able to remain solvent by giving back some of these rents. In order to answer this question we analyze three data sets: a data set on the union status of solvent and insolvent enterprises and business lines from the Compustat files, a data set on the union status of workers who have lost their jobs due to permanent plant closures or business failures obtained by matching files from Current Population Survey, and a data set from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on the outcomes of elections won by unions and on the outcomes of labor- management dispute cases. Overall, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that unions behave in an economically rational manner, pushing wages to the point where union firms may expand less rapidly than nonunion firms, but not to the point where the firm, plant, or business line closes down.
|Date of creation:||Jul 1994|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol.52, no.4 (July 1999): 510-527.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Clark, Kim B, 1984. "Unionization and Firm Performance: The Impact on Profits, Growth, and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 893-919, December.
- Paracchi, F. & Welch, F., 1992.
"How Representative Are Matched Cross Sections? Evidence from the Current Population Survey,"
92-53, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Peracchi, Franco & Welch, Finis, 1995. "How representative are matched cross-sections? Evidence from the Current Population Survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 153-179, July.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pencavel, John H, 1984. "The Tradeoff between Wages and Employment in Trade Union Objectives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(2), pages 215-31, May.
- Kleiner, Morris M., 1984. "Public policy implications of financial information requirements under the national labor relations act," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 253-257.
- Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991.
"Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation,"
Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues
91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
- Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction and Employment Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 3728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard B. Freeman & Edward P. Lazear, 1994.
"An Economic Analysis of Works Councils,"
NBER Working Papers
4918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barry T. Hirsch & Robert A. Connolly, 1987. "Do unions capture monopoly profits?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(1), pages 118-136, October.
- Connolly, Robert A & Hirsch, Barry T & Hirschey, Mark, 1986. "Union Rent Seeking, Intangible Capital, and Market Value of the Firm," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 567-77, November.
- Domowitz, Ian & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1986. "The Intertemporal Stability of the Concentration-Margins Relationship," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1), pages 13-34, September.
- Michael A. Salinger, 1984. "Tobin's q, Unionization, and the Concentration-Profits Relationship," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 159-170, Summer.
- Karier, Thomas M, 1985. "Unions and Monopoly Profits," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 34-42, February.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1983. "Unionism, Price-Cost Margins, and the Return to Capital," NBER Working Papers 1164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Macpherson, D.A. & Dunne, T., 1992. "Unionism and Gross Employment Flows," Working Papers 1992_10_5, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
- Colin Lawrence & Robert Z. Lawrence, 1985. "Manufacturing Wage Dispersion: An End Game Interpretation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(1), pages 47-116.
- Kuhn, Peter, 1986. "Wages, Effort, and Incentive Compatibility in Life-Cycle Employment Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 28-49, January.
- Voos, Paula B & Mishel, Lawrence R, 1986. "The Union Impact on Profits: Evidence from Industry Price-Cost Margin Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 105-33, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4797. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.