The Union Membership Wage-Premium Puzzle: Is There a Free Rider Problem?
Alison Booth () and
Mark Bryan ()
ILR Review, 2004, vol. 57, issue 3, 402-421
Economists have long suggested that labor unions suffer a free rider problem. The argument is that, since union-set wages are available to all workers covered by unions irrespective of their union status, and union membership entails costs, workers will only join if they are coerced or are offered non-wage goods that they value above membership costs. Yet U.S. and British empirical research has found a substantial union membership wage premium among private-sector union-covered workers, implying that there is no free rider problem. The authors of this study hypothesize that these findings arise due to selectivity problems associated with identifying the union membership effect. Their analysis, which uses rich data from a new linked employer-employee survey for Britain and exploits the within-establishment variation in wages as a function of individual union membership status, demonstrates that the apparent wage premium for members is illusory. Hence, a potential free rider problem remains.
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: The Union Membership Wage Premium Puzzle: Is There A Free-Rider Problem? (2001)
Working Paper: The union membership wage-premium puzzle: is there a free rider problem? (2001)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:57:y:2004:i:3:p:402-421
Access Statistics for this article
More articles in ILR Review from Cornell University, ILR School
Series data maintained by SAGE Publications ().