Unions and Employment Growth: The One Constant?

19 Pages Posted: 7 May 2004

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

Clive R. Belfield

Columbia University Teachers' College - National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education

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Abstract

Sequential analyses of the major workplace data sets available to British researchers - the cross-sectional Workplace Industrial/Employee Relations Surveys (WIRS/WERS) - have revealed shifts in some previously well-established associations between union presence and firm performance, so much so in fact that it has become conventional to speak of a pronounced reduction in the "disadvantages of British unionism." One finding that seems to have persisted in cross section, however, is the negative effect of unions on employment growth. Following on a recent study in this Journal, we reexamine the issue using employment data from a panel of firms surveyed at two points in time rather than a single cross section. We report similar evidence of employment retardation in union regimes. On the other hand, the new data also suggest that some other unfavorable union effects may be longer-standing than previously reported.

Suggested Citation

Addison, John T. and Belfield, Clive R., Unions and Employment Growth: The One Constant?. Industrial Relations, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 305-323, April 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=524272

John T. Addison (Contact Author)

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

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Clive R. Belfield

Columbia University Teachers' College - National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education ( email )

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New York, NY 10027
United States

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