When Does Reducing Union Bargaining Power Increase Productivity? Evidence from the Workplace Relations Act

14 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2011  

Samantha Farmakis-Gamboni

affiliation not provided to SSRN

David Prentice

University of Nottingham - Malaysia Campus

Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

Despite a large empirical literature, the conditions under which unions have different effects on productivity have not been determined. The Australian Workplace Relations Act 1996 (WRA) provides a natural experiment in which union bargaining power was decreased. We estimate productivity growth before and after the WRA. While the WRA did not increase productivity growth in union firms compared with non‐union firms, in industries with more extensive unionisation, productivity growth in union firms was greater post‐WRA compared with pre‐WRA growth for non‐union firms. This suggests unionisation tends to have greater effects on productivity in sectors where it is more extensive.

JEL Classification: J51, D24, J58

Suggested Citation

Farmakis-Gamboni, Samantha and Prentice, David, When Does Reducing Union Bargaining Power Increase Productivity? Evidence from the Workplace Relations Act (December 2011). Economic Record, Vol. 87, Issue 279, pp. 603-616, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1958466 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4932.2011.00757.x

Samantha Farmakis-Gamboni (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

David Prentice

University of Nottingham - Malaysia Campus ( email )

Jalan Broga
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Semenyih 43500
Malaysia

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