The Effect of Unions on Employment: Evidence from an Unnatural Experiment in Uruguay
This study examines the impact of unions on wages and employment using data from Uruguay in a period where unions were banned (1973-1984), then legalized with tripartite bargaining (1984-1991) followed by industry-wide or firm-specific bargaining (1992-1997). The relationship between wages and employment shifted significantly across these periods as evidenced by - Recursive residuals show structural shifts in five of six industries with the shifts coming at the same time as the regime changes. - Wages are exogenous to employment before 1985, but not afterwards. - The wage elasticity and the employment-output elasticity fell sharply after 1984. - Unions significantly raised wages in 1985-1992, but afterwards the change in bargaining structure and increased openness led to concessions. - Starting in 1985, workers in unionized industries were less likely to be laid off than workers in nonunion industries.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Job Creation in Latin America and the Caribbean: Recent Trends and the Policy Challenges. Carmen Pages, Gaelle Pierre, Stefano Scarpetta (eds) 2009|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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