NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Unions and Job Security in the Public Sector

Steven G. Allen

NBER Working Paper No. 2108 (Also Reprint No. r1257)
Issued in December 1986
NBER Program(s):   LS

This study examines the effect of unions on job security in the public and private sectors. Despite much lower unemployment rates for public than private sector workers, once one controls for differences in worker and job characteristics, the odds of being unemployed are identical for nonunion workers in the public and private sectors. The picture is quite different for union workers, who face greater odds of becoming unemployed than nonunion workers in private sector jobs but much lower chances of becoming unemployed in the public sector. The ability of unions to reduce layoff and unemployment rates in the public sector seems attributable to the political power to prevent budget cuts and the absence of Unemployment Insurance subsidies or supplemental unemployment benefits.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w2108

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