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Vulnerable Seniors: Unions, Tenure, and Wages Following Permanent Job Loss

Peter Kuhn () and Arthur Sweetman ()

Journal of Labor Economics, 1999, vol. 17, issue 4, 671-93

Abstract: In contrast to nonunion workers, reemployment wages of workers displaced from unionized jobs decline with tenure on the lost job. This finding cannot easily be explained by firm- or industry-specific human capital accumulation, deferred-pay policies, standard matching models, or a correlation between tenure and reentry rates into unionized jobs. Possible explanations include negative selection of senior union workers and a negative causal effect of unionism on workers' alternative skills. Despite a much flatter predisplacement tenure-wage profile, displaced union workers' wage losses increase with tenure at a rate comparable to or higher than those of nonunion workers. Copyright 1999 by University of Chicago Press.

Date: 1999
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