Why so Unhappy? The Effects of Unionization on Job Satisfaction

24 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2010

See all articles by Alex Bryson

Alex Bryson

UCL; National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)

Lorenzo Cappellari

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan; University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Claudio Lucifora

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: 2010-04-06

Abstract

Using linked employer–employee data we investigate the job satisfaction effect of union membership in Britain. We develop a model that simultaneously controls for the determinants of individual membership status and for the selection of employees into occupations according to union coverage. We find a negative association between membership and satisfaction. However, having accounted for selection effects, we find that the negative association is confined to non-covered employees. This is consistent with ‘voice’ effects, whereby non-covered members voice dissatisfaction to achieve union goals, and with the possibility that membership increases preferences for collective bargaining, thus lowering members’ satisfaction in non-covered environments.

Suggested Citation

Bryson, Alex and Cappellari, Lorenzo and Lucifora, Claudio, Why so Unhappy? The Effects of Unionization on Job Satisfaction (2010-04-06). Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 72, Issue 3, pp. 357-380, June 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1590533 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0084.2010.00587.x

Alex Bryson (Contact Author)

UCL ( email )

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom

National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) ( email )

2 Dean Trench Street
Smith Square
London, SW1P 3HE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.niesr.ac.uk/staff/staffdetail.php?StaffID=307

Lorenzo Cappellari

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

Largo Gemelli, 1
Via Necchi 9
Milan, MI 20123
Italy

University of Essex - Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Claudio Lucifora

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano ( email )

Department of Economics and Finance
Largo Gemelli, 1
20123 Milano
Italy
+39 027 234 2525 (Phone)
+39 027 234 2781 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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