Unions and Plant Closings in Britain: New Evidence from the 1990/98 WERS

48 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2001

See all articles by John T. Addison

John T. Addison

University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

John S. Heywood

University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

Xiangdong Wei

Lingnan College

Date Written: August 2001

Abstract

In this paper we exploit the longitudinal element of the 1990 and 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Surveys for Britain to investigate the effect of unionism on establishment closings. Contrary to both recent U.S. research and British work using information from the earlier workplace surveys, we find a robust positive association between two measures of unionism - union recognition for collective bargaining purposes and union coverage - and plant closings. This association survives the incorporation of very detailed industry controls but is driven by plants that are parts of multi-establishment enterprises. There appears to be little or no statistically significant association for single plant enterprises. In explaining our findings, we address their consistency with the widely perceived reduction in the "disadvantages of [British] unionism" in recent years.

Keywords: Union Recognition, Union Coverage, Plant Closures, WERS

JEL Classification: J51, J65

Suggested Citation

Addison, John T. and Heywood, John S. and Wei, Xiangdong, Unions and Plant Closings in Britain: New Evidence from the 1990/98 WERS (August 2001). IZA Discussion Paper No. 352. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=283113

John T. Addison (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://mooreschool.sc.edu/moore/economics/profiles/addison.htm

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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John S. Heywood

University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee ( email )

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Milwaukee, WI 53211
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414-229-3860 (Fax)

Xiangdong Wei

Lingnan College ( email )

8 Castle Peak Road
Hong Kong
China

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