Trade Unions Go Global!

40 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2008 Last revised: 10 Sep 2008

See all articles by Alejandro Donado

Alejandro Donado

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Klaus Wälde

University of Mainz; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); UCL at Louvain la Neuve

Date Written: August 2008


Worker movements played a crucial role in making workplaces safer. Workplace safety is costly for firms but increases labour supply. A laissez-faire approach leaving safety of workplaces unknown is suboptimal. Safety standards set by better-informed trade unions are output and welfare increasing. Trade between a country with trade unions (the North) and a union-free country (the South) can imply a reduction in work standards in the North. When trade unions are established in the South, the North, including northern unions, tend to lose. Quantitatively, these effects are small and overcompensated by gains in the South.

Keywords: occupational health and safety, trade unions, international trade, welfare

JEL Classification: J51, J81, F16, F21

Suggested Citation

Donado, Alejandro and Wälde, Klaus, Trade Unions Go Global! (August 2008). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2368, Available at SSRN:

Alejandro Donado

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management ( email )

Adickesallee 32-34
Frankfurt am Main, 60322

Klaus Wälde (Contact Author)

University of Mainz ( email )

Mainz School of Management and Economics
Mainz, 55128
+49 6131 3920143 (Phone)


CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

UCL at Louvain la Neuve

Place Montesquieu, 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics