Effects of Right to Work Laws on Employees, Unions, and Businesses
affiliation not provided to SSRN
March 8, 2004
Should a state adopt a Right to Work law? This question has been and continues to be hotly contested. In brief, Right to Work laws prohibit unions from including certain types of union security clauses in their contracts with companies that effectively force the company to make their employees either join the union or at least pay a proportion of their union dues as a condition of employment. Proponents of Right to Work laws point to research that says Right to Work laws have a positive effect on states that adopt them while opponents of Right to Work laws do just the opposite.
The purpose of this paper is to sift through the great deal of research currently available to decide whether a state should adopt a Right to Work law. To make this decision, this paper primarily focuses on how Right to Work laws affect a state’s people: their wages, their employment levels, their morality, their unions, and their wealth. In examining the moral issues associated with Right to Work laws, this paper looks at both the “forced union dues” problem and the “free rider” problem.
After weighing the pros and cons of Right to Work laws this paper finally concludes that Right to Work laws are a net benefit to a state and should be adopted because the benefits to a state’s people outweigh the costs: Right to Work laws create jobs and spur economic activity.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 54
Keywords: right to work law laws union security clauses economic job growth comparison study
JEL Classification: K31, K2working papers series
Date posted: March 10, 2010
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