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The Two Faces of Unionism

Richard Freeman () and James Medoff

No 364, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Our research demonstrates that the view of unions as organizations whose chief function is to raise wages is seriously misleading. For in addition to raising wages, unions have significant non-wage effects which influence diverse aspects of modern industrial life. By providing workers with a voice both at the workplace and in the political arena, unions can and do affect positively the functioning of the economic and social systems. Although our research on the non-wage effects of trade unions is by no means complete and some results will surely change as more evidence becomes available, enough work has been done to yield the broad outlines of a new view of unionism.

Date: 1979-06
Note: LS
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Published as Freeman, Richard B. and Medoff James L. "The Two Faces of Unionism." The Public Interest, Vol. 57, (Fall 1979), pp. 69-93.
Published as (French version R88 -Revue Economique, Vol. 31, No. 3, May 1980.)
Published as Le Syndicalisme a Deux Visages , Richard B. Freeman, James L. Medoff.

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