Do Right-to-Work Laws Work? Evidence from Individual Well-Being and Economic Sentiment
61 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2018 Last revised: 17 May 2019
Date Written: May 15, 2019
This paper investigates the effects of state right-to-work (RTW) laws on dimensions of individual well-being. Using licensed micro-data from Gallup between 2008-2017, this paper finds that the adoption of RTW laws is associated with a 0.029sd and 0.041sd increase in individual life satisfaction and economic sentiment, respectively. A difference-in-difference estimator suggests that these improvements are concentrated among union workers. These results are also robust to entropy balancing and border-pair approaches. Moreover, these improvements in well-being are consistent with an increase in competition among unions, which prompts them to provide higher quality services that are valued by their members.
Keywords: right-to-work, sentiment, union, well-being, welfare
JEL Classification: I31, J31, J38, J50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation