NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Productivity Levels and Productivity Change Under Unionism

Steven G. Allen

NBER Working Paper No. 2304 (Also Reprint No. r1243)
Issued in July 1987
NBER Program(s):   LS

This paper examines how unions affect the rate of productivity change over time. The direction of union impact cannot be predicted from economic theory. Firms may tend to select more productive technologies to offset the cost of higher union wages or they may tend to select less productive technologies to keep union wage demands in line. Evidence from manufacturing indicates that unions have not affected productivity growth, but in the construction industry productivity growth has been much slower in areas where there is a high initial level of unionization or where unionization is growing.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w2304

Published: "Productivity Levels & Productivity Change Under Unionism." From Industrial Relations, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 94-113, (Winter 1988).

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