Unions, Training, and Firm Performance: Evidence from the British Workplace Employee Relations Survey

44 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 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

Date Written: August 2004

Abstract

This paper uses a combination of workplace and matched-employee workplace data from the British 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey to examine the impact of unions and firm-provided training (incidence, intensity/coverage, and duration) on establishment performance. The performance effects of training are indexed not just by individual and median establishment earnings but also by subjective measures of plant labor productivity and financial performance. Union effects on training are fairly subtle, and somewhat more positive when using individual rather than plant-wide training data. A positive impact of training on earnings is also detected in both individual and plant-based wage data, although consistent with much recent research the effects of union recognition are at best muted. There are also some signs of a positive interaction term for unionism and training in the earnings equations, but by the same token negative effects are encountered when training duration is expressed in categorical terms and interacted with union recognition. Instrumenting training yielded positive results for labor productivity and the firm's bottom line. While some negative effects of multiple unionism at the workplace now emerge, they seemingly do not operate through the training route.

Keywords: union recognition, bargaining structure, employer-provided training, training incidence, intensity/coverage and duration, earnings, labor productivity, financial performance

JEL Classification: J24, J33, J51

Suggested Citation

Addison, John T. and Belfield, Clive R., Unions, Training, and Firm Performance: Evidence from the British Workplace Employee Relations Survey (August 2004). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1264. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=582303

John T. Addison (Contact Author)

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

The Francis M. Hipp Building
1705 College Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States
803-777-7400 (Phone)
803-777-6876 (Fax)

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

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Clive R. Belfield

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

525 W. 120th St.
New York, NY 10027
United States

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