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The Impact of Unions on Wages in Brazilian Manufacturing

  • Jorge Saba Arbache

    ()

The empirical literature on the impact of unions on wages has stressed two major conclusions. Firstly, unionised workers earn a wage premium when compared to comparable nonunionised workers. Secondly, the dispersion of wages within the union sector is lower than in the nonunion sector. We examine the validity of these findings in the context of a developing country labour market. Our results show that unionism does create a positive wage differential for male, semi-skilled workers with formal labour contracts in Brazilian manufacturing, and that, contrary to the common finding in the existing literature, wage dispersion is greater in the union sector. We show that these findings can be explained by the greater variance in the characteristics of unionised workers, the vulnerability of nonunionised workers to market conditions, and the structure of wage bargaining.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.ukc.ac.uk/pub/ejr/RePEc/ukc/ukcedp/9805.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 9805.

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Date of creation: Jan 1998
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Publication status: Published in Research in Labor Economics, 1999, pp.??-??
Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:9805
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 827497
Web page: http://www.kent.ac.uk/economics/

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  1. Stewart, Mark B, 1990. "Union Wage Differentials, Product Market Influences and the Division of Rents," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1122-37, December.
  2. John M. Abowd & Henry S. Farber, 1982. "Job queues and the union status of workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 354-367, April.
  3. Rowthorn, R E, 1992. "Centralisation, Employment and Wage Dispersion," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(412), pages 506-23, May.
  4. Farber, Henry S, 1978. "Individual Preferences and Union Wage Determination: The Case of the United Mine Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 923-42, October.
  5. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  6. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Christoph M. Schmidt, . "Inter-Industry and Inter-Region Differentials: Mechanics and Interpretation," Working Papers 9504, SELAPO Center for Human Resources.
  7. Richard B. Freeman, 1978. "Unionism and the Dispersion of Wages," NBER Working Papers 0248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
  9. Kahn, Lawrence M & Curme, Michael, 1987. "Unions and Nonunion Wage Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 600-607, November.
  10. Teal, Francis, 1996. "The Size and sources of economic rents in a developing country manufacturing labour market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 963-76, July.
  11. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Institutional Changes and Rising Wage Inequality: Is There a Linkage?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 75-96, Spring.
  12. Jorge Saba Arbache, 1997. "Wage Differentials in Brazilian Manufacturing," Studies in Economics 9705, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  13. Booth, Alison L, 1984. "A Public Choice Model of Trade Union Behaviour and Membership," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 883-98, December.
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