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Are there gains to joining a union? Evidence from Mexico

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  • Gutiérrez Rufrancos, Héctor Elías

Abstract

Union density in Mexico has been in decline since the 1980s. This paper provides ev- idence on the worker compensation gains (losses) made by males upon joining (leaving) a union. These are estimated using a nationally representative labour market survey covering 2005q1-2016q1. The transitions between non-union and union status are investigated using a difference-in-difference estimator. The findings suggest that joining a union is associated with modest wage gains, contrary to what the literature has shown for most industrialised nations. However, in contrast to this some union leavers are found to experience a decrease in wages. This paper also contributes to the wider literature by providing the first estimates of the longitudinal gain (loss) associated with joining (leaving) a union with respect to non-wage benefits. The findings show joining (leaving) a union increases (decreases) the probability of being in receipt of legally guaranteed benefits such as bonuses and paid holidays. This sug- gests that although union density may be in decline, unions still have an important role to play in voicing worker's preferences with respect to compensation and ensuring that employers comply with the law.

Suggested Citation

  • Gutiérrez Rufrancos, Héctor Elías, 2019. "Are there gains to joining a union? Evidence from Mexico," GLO Discussion Paper Series 315, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:315
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unions; wages; Mexico; non-wage benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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