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How trade unions increase welfare

  • Donado, Alejandro
  • Wälde, Klaus

Historically, worker movements have played a crucial role in making workplaces safer. Firms traditionally oppose better health standards. According to our interpretation, workplace safety is costly for firms but increases the average health of workers and thereby the aggregate labour supply. A laissez-faire approach in which firms set safety standards is suboptimal as workers are not fully informed of health risks associated with jobs. Safety standards set by better-informed trade unions are output and welfare increasing.

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Paper provided by University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics in its series W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers with number 83.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuewep:83
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  1. Tito Boeri & Michael C. Burda, 2008. "Preferences for Collective versus Individualised Wage Setting," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-021, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  2. Agell, Jonas, 1999. "On the Benefits from Rigid Labour Markets: Norms, Market Failures, and Social Insurance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F143-64, February.
  3. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416 Elsevier.
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  5. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1998. "Unions and Efficient Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 328-43, March.
  6. Joshua Hall & Peter Leeson, 2007. "Good for the Goose, Bad for the Gander: International Labor Standards and Comparative Development," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 658-676, September.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521464673 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Alejandro Donado & Klaus Wälde, 2008. "Trade Unions go global!," Working Papers 2008_22, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Aug 2008.
  9. Malcomson, James M, 1983. "Trade Unions and Economic Efficiency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369a), pages 51-65, Supplemen.
  10. Paul Fenn & Simon Ashby, 2004. "Workplace Risk, Establishment Size and Union Density," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(3), pages 461-480, 09.
  11. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
  12. Shulamit Kahn, 1990. "What Occupational Safety Tells Us about Political Power in Union Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 481-496, Autumn.
  13. Mezzetti, C. & Dinopoulos, E., 1989. "Domestic Unionization And Import Competition," Papers 337, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  14. Price V. Fishback, 1998. "Operations of "Unfettered" Labor Markets: Exit and Voice in American Labor Markets at the Turn of the Century," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 722-765, June.
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