Who Do Unions Target? Unionization Over the Life-Cycle of U.S. Businesses

81 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2014

See all articles by Emin Dinlersoz

Emin Dinlersoz

Center for Economic Studies - US Census Bureau

Jeremy Greenwood

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Henry R. Hyatt

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Abstract

What type of businesses do unions target for organizing? A dynamic model of the union organizing process is constructed to answer this question. A union monitors establishments in an industry to learn about their productivity and decides which ones to organize and when. An establishment becomes unionized if the union targets it for organizing and wins the union certification election. The model predicts two main selection effects: unions secure elections in larger and more productive establishments early in their life-cycles, and among the establishments that experience an election, unions are more likely to win in smaller and less productive ones. These predictions find support in union certification election data for 1977-2007 matched with data on establishment characteristics. Other empirical regularities pertaining to union organizing are also documented.

Keywords: unionization, union organizing, union certification election, diffusion of unionization, Bayesian learning, productivity

JEL Classification: J5, J50, J51, L11, L23, L25, L6, D24, D21

Suggested Citation

Dinlersoz, Emin and Greenwood, Jeremy and Hyatt, Henry R., Who Do Unions Target? Unionization Over the Life-Cycle of U.S. Businesses. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8416. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2492443

Emin Dinlersoz (Contact Author)

Center for Economic Studies - US Census Bureau ( email )

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Jeremy Greenwood

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
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215-898-1505 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://jeremygreenwood.net

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Henry R. Hyatt

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies ( email )

4700 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States

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