Collective Bargaining for Women: How Unions Can Create Female-Friendly Jobs

85 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2022

See all articles by Viola Corradini

Viola Corradini

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Lorenzo Lagos

Columbia University

Garima Sharma

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Abstract

Why aren't workplaces better designed for women? We show that changing the priorities of those who set workplace policies can create female-friendly jobs. Starting in 2015, Brazil's largest trade union federation made women central to its bargaining agenda. Neither establishments nor workers choose their union, permitting a difference-in-differences design to study causal effects. We find that "bargaining for women" increases female-centric amenities in collective bargaining agreements, which are then reflected in practice (e.g., more female managers, longer maternity leaves, longer job protection). These changes cause women to queue for jobs at treated establishments and separate from them less¬óboth revealed preference measures of firm value. We find no evidence that these gains come at the expense of employment, workers' wages, or firm profits. Hence, prioritizing women's preferences in decision-making can lower within-firm gender inequality through more efficient bargaining.

Keywords: gender disparities, amenities, collective bargaining, unions

JEL Classification: J31, J33, J51, J52

Suggested Citation

Corradini, Viola and Lagos, Lorenzo and Sharma, Garima, Collective Bargaining for Women: How Unions Can Create Female-Friendly Jobs. IZA Discussion Paper No. 15552, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4219409 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4219409

Viola Corradini (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Lorenzo Lagos

Columbia University

Garima Sharma

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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