What Do Unions in China Do? Provincial-Level Evidence on Wages, Employment, Productivity, and Economic Output

38 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2012 Last revised: 5 Mar 2014

See all articles by John W. Budd

John W. Budd

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Wei Chi

Tsinghua University - School of Economics and Management

Yijiang Wang

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business

Qianyun Xie

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Human Resources and Industrial Relations

Date Written: January 1, 2014

Abstract

Utilizing provincial-level data from the period of 1994-2008, this paper studies the relationship between union density and wages, employment, productivity, and economic output in China. The findings indicate that union density does not affect average wage levels, but is positively associated with aggregate productivity and output. We discuss if and to what extent these findings are consistent with the familiar two faces of unions model and alternative explanations relevant in the context of Chinese labor and union institutions.

Keywords: Labor unions, China, collective voice

JEL Classification: J3, J5

Suggested Citation

Budd, John W. and Chi, Wei and Wang, Yijiang and Xie, Qianyun, What Do Unions in China Do? Provincial-Level Evidence on Wages, Employment, Productivity, and Economic Output (January 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2019551 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2019551

John W. Budd (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

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Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies
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HOME PAGE: http://www.johnwbudd.com

Wei Chi

Tsinghua University - School of Economics and Management ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

Yijiang Wang

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business ( email )

Oriental Plaza, Tower E3
One East Chang An Avenue
Beijing, 100738
China

Qianyun Xie

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Human Resources and Industrial Relations ( email )

United States

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