A new GLO Discussion Paper reviews the literature on the wellbeing of union members. Union members can be expected to exhibit higher job satisfaction than comparable non-members, but this is not consistent with empirical findings.
The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 726, 2020
GLO Fellow Laszlo Goerke
Author Abstract: If individuals join a trade union their utility should increase. Therefore, union members can be expected to exhibit higher job satisfaction than comparable non-members. This expectation is not consistent with empirical findings. The evidence sometimes indicates that union members have lower job satisfaction, but overall suggests the absence of a robust correlation. This survey discusses empirically relevant determinants of the relationship between trade union membership and job satisfaction. It distinguishes settings in which a trade union provides public goods from those in which it restricts the provision of benefits to its members. Furthermore, the survey summarizes the empirical evidence and indicates possible future research issues.
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