Impacts of Unionization on Employment, Product Quality and Productivity: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Nursing Homes

65 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2012 Last revised: 4 Apr 2015

See all articles by Aaron Sojourner

Aaron Sojourner

University of Minnesota; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Robert J. Town

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David C. Grabowski

Harvard University - Department of Health Care Policy

Min (Michelle) Chen

Florida International University (FIU)

Date Written: January 2012

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of nursing home unionization on numerous labor, establishment, and consumer outcomes using a regression discontinuity design. We find negative effects of unionization on staffing levels and no decline in care quality, suggesting positive labor productivity effects. Some evidence suggests that nursing homes in less competitive local product markets and those with lower union density at the time of election experienced stronger union employment effects. Unionization appears to raise wages for a given worker while also shifting the composition of the workforce away from higher-earning workers. By combining credible identification of union effects, a comprehensive set of outcomes over time with measures of market-level characteristics, this study generates some of the best evidence available on many controversial questions in the economics of unions. Furthermore, it generates evidence from the service sector, which has grown in importance and where evidence has been thin.

Suggested Citation

Sojourner, Aaron J. and Town, Robert J. and Grabowski, David C. and Chen, Min (Michelle), Impacts of Unionization on Employment, Product Quality and Productivity: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Nursing Homes (January 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17733. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1989327

Aaron J. Sojourner (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota ( email )

Carlson School of Management
321 19th Ave S, 3-300
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
6126249521 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Robert J. Town

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David C. Grabowski

Harvard University - Department of Health Care Policy ( email )

25 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Min (Michelle) Chen

Florida International University (FIU) ( email )

University Park
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
22
Abstract Views
488
PlumX Metrics