NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Exit-Voice Tradeoff in the Labor Market: Unionism, Job Tenure, Quits

Richard B. Freeman

NBER Working Paper No. 242 (Also Reprint No. r0104)
Issued in November 1980
NBER Program(s):   LS

This paper examines the effect of trade unionism on the exit behavior of workers in the context of Hirschman's exit-voice dichotomy. Unionism is expected to reduce quits and permanent separations and raise job tenure by providing a "voice" alternative to exit when workers are dissatisfied with conditions. Empirical evidence supports this contention, showing significantly lower exit for unionists in several large data tapes. It is argued that the grievance system plays a major role in the reduction in exit and that the reduction lowers cost and raises productivity.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0242

Published: Freeman, Richard B. "The Exit-Voice Tradeoff in the Labor Market: Unionism, Job Tenure, Quits, and Separations." The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol XCIV, No. 4, (June 1980), pp. 643- 673.

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