The Exit-Voice Tradeoff in the Labor Market: Unionism, Job Tenure, Quits
NBER Working Paper No. 242 (Also Reprint No. r0104)
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.
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.