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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuewep:83
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  1. 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.
  2. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
  3. Agell, Jonas, 1998. "On the Benefits from Rigid Labour Markets: Norms, Market Failures, and Social Insurance," Working Paper Series 1998:17, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Malcomson, James M, 1983. "Trade Unions and Economic Efficiency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369a), pages 51-65, Supplemen.
  5. 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.
  6. Mezzetti, C. & Dinopoulos, E., 1989. "Domestic Unionization And Import Competition," Papers 337, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  7. Boeri, Tito & Burda, Michael C., 2008. "Preferences for Collective versus Individualised Wage Setting," IZA Discussion Papers 3365, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Donado, Alejandro & Wälde, Klaus, 2009. "Trade unions go global!," IAB Discussion Paper 200903, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  9. Janet Currie & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market," JCPR Working Papers 27, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  10. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1998. "Unions and Efficient Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 328-43, March.
  11. 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.
  12. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  13. 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.
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