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A Submerging Labor Market Institution?

A Submerging Labor Market Institution?

Unions and the Nonwage Aspects of Work

(p.231) 7 A Submerging Labor Market Institution?
Emerging Labor Market Institutions for the Twenty-First Century
Thomas C. BuchmuellerJohn E. DiNardoRobert G. Mishel
University of Chicago Press

The effect of labor unions on a variety of non-wage aspects of work is a small, yet important, aspect of the recent history of unionism in the United States. Although unions have demonstrated a historical commitment to non-wage aspects of jobs, union goals and impacts may have changed as union density and influence have declined. Using data from a variety of databases, this chapter investigates the following questions: How do the non-wage aspects of union jobs differ from those of non-union jobs? Have these differences changed during the past several decades? The chapter first documents and describes differences in hours worked in union and non-union jobs. It then provides an updated assessment of union impacts on the provision of various fringe benefits (health insurance, pensions, etc.) addressed for an earlier period in various studies. It also discusses the economics of reductions in hours of work and uses data from the Current Population Survey and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to determine the impact of unions on hours worked.

Keywords:   labor unions, United States, non-wage aspects, union jobs, non-union jobs, fringe benefits, health insurance, pensions, hours of work, Panel Study of Income Dynamics

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