Ruling Out Productivity? Labor Contract Pages and Plant Performance
NBER Working Paper No. 1368
This study documents a strong inverse relationship between number of pages of labor contracts in effect and the productivity observed in a sample of ten unionized plants. It is argued that this relationship reflects the productivity-inhibiting effects of increases in the number and complexity of work rules. The study also argues that subsequent research should try to improve the measurement of work rules by considering the substance of the rules and which parameters of a production function the rules are likely to affect.