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What Do Employers' Associations Do?

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  • Martins, Pedro S.

Abstract

While trade unions have been studied in detail, there is virtually no economics research on employer associations (EAs), trade unions' counterparts in many countries. However, besides conducting collective bargaining, EAs perform several other activities that can in uence economic outcomes, including training and coordination. This paper studies the contributions of EAs by comparing affiliated and non-affiliated firms in terms of sales, employment, productivity, and wages. Using matched employer-employee panel data for Portugal, we find that affiliated firms exhibit better outcomes along most of these dimensions, even when drawing on changes in affiliation status over time; and that this affiliation premium tends to increase with EA coverage (defined as the percentage of workers in the relevant industry/region domain that are employed by affiliated firms). Sectors as a whole also appear to benefit from EA coverage, even if non-affiliated firms do worse.

Suggested Citation

  • Martins, Pedro S., 2020. "What Do Employers' Associations Do?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 496, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:496
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    1. David K. Levine & Andrea Mattozzi & Salvatore Modica, 2021. "Trade Associations: Why Not Cartels?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(1), pages 47-64, February.
    2. Martins, Pedro S. & Saraiva, Joana, 2020. "Assessing the legal value added of collective bargaining agreements," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    3. Pedro S. Martins, 2021. "30,000 Minimum Wages: The Economic Effects of Collective Bargaining Extensions," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 59(2), pages 335-369, June.
    4. Pedro S. Martins, 2020. "Employee Training and Firm Performance: Quasi-experimental evidence from the European Social Fund," GEE Papers 0152, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Jun 2020.
    5. Alan B. Krueger & Orley Ashenfelter, 2022. "Theory and Evidence on Employer Collusion in the Franchise Sector," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 57(S), pages 324-348.
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    7. Hijzen Alexander & Martins Pedro S., 2020. "No extension without representation? Evidence from a natural experiment in collective bargaining," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-31, March.
    8. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1987. "Cost-Raising Strategies," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1), pages 19-34, September.
    9. Haucap, Justus & Pauly, Uwe & Wey, Christian, 2001. "Collective wage setting when wages are generally binding An antitrust perspective," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 287-307, September.
    10. Pedro Silva Martins, 2019. "The Microeconomic Impacts of Employee Representatives: Evidence from Membership Thresholds," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 591-622, October.
    11. John T. Addison & Pedro Portugal & Hugo Vilares, 2017. "Unions and Collective Bargaining in the Wake of the Great Recession: Evidence from Portugal," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 55(3), pages 551-576, September.
    12. Pedro S. Martins, 2018. "Making their own weather? Estimating employer labour-market power and its wage effects," Working Papers 95, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    13. Martin Behrens & Markus Helfen, 2016. "The Foundations of Social Partnership," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(2), pages 334-357, June.
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    15. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
    16. Oliver E. Williamson, 1968. "Wage Rates as a Barrier to Entry: The Pennington Case in Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 85-116.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hijzen Alexander & Martins Pedro S., 2020. "No extension without representation? Evidence from a natural experiment in collective bargaining," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-31, March.
    2. Martins, Pedro S. & Saraiva, Joana, 2020. "Assessing the legal value added of collective bargaining agreements," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    3. Bernardo Fanfani & Claudio Lucifora & Daria Vigani, 2021. "Employer Association in Italy. Trends and Economic Outcomes," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def109, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employer Organisations; Productivity; Social Dialogue; Collective Bargaining;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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