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Author: Bryson, Alex
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Artz, Benjamin
Blanchflower, David G.
Bryson, Alex
Unions Increase Job Satisfaction in the United States
NBER Working Paper No. 28717, National Bureau of Economic Research, April 2021.
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Economic Changes/Recession; Job Satisfaction; Underemployment; Unions

We revisit the well-known negative association between union coverage and individuals' job satisfaction in the United States, first identified over forty years ago. We find the association has flipped since the Great Recession such that union workers are now more satisfied than their non-union counterparts. This is found to be the case for younger and older workers in the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth of 1979 and 1997. The change is apparent when we use the panel data to account for fixed differences in those who are and are not unionized, suggesting changes in worker sorting into union status are not the reason for the change. The absence of substantial change in the union wage gap, and the stability of results when conditioning on wages, both suggest the change is not associated with changes in unions' wage bargaining. Instead, we find some diminution in unions' ability to lower quit rates – albeit confined to older workers - which is suggestive of a decline in their effectiveness in operating as a 'voice' mechanism for unionized workers. We also present evidence suggestive of unions' ability to minimize covered workers’ exposure to underemployment, a phenomenon that has negatively impacted non-union workers.
Bibliography Citation
Artz, Benjamin, David G. Blanchflower and Alex Bryson. "Unions Increase Job Satisfaction in the United States." NBER Working Paper No. 28717, National Bureau of Economic Research, April 2021.