Public Sector Union Growth and Bargaining Laws: A Proportional Hazards Approach with Time-Varying Treatments
NBER Working Paper No. 1809
This study uses a Cox proportional hazards model to estimate ther elationship between state-level collective bargaining policies and union growth in the public sector. The proportional hazards analysisis performed with data on approximately eight hundred municipal police departments. The timing of unionization in these departments clearly indicates that unionization rarely precedes the enactment of a statute. Where bargaining laws have not been enacted, formal collective bargaining between municipalities and their police is virtually nonexistant. Moreover, the proportional hazards analysis that controls for the effects of other state-level and municipal-level covariates indicates that the bargaining laws and policies are the most important determinant of unionization among police. Among different types of bargaining policies, "duty-to-bargain" provisions lead to higher unionization rates than do statutes that permit, but do not require, employers to bargain with police. However, after controlling for for the effects of other covariates, there appears to be no difference in the unionization rates between the states that have duty-to-bargain provisions along with an interest arbitration mechanism and those states that have duty-to-bargain provisions without such a dispute resolution mechanism.