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Tweet of the Day: “Economists are Starting to Suspect that Unions Were a Better Deal than Textbooks Made Them Out To Be”

September 24 2018

This is my absolute new favourite headline on #IndustrialRelations and #LabourEconomists.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 4.39.02 PM

 

The accompanying article provides a nice, brief summary of the long-standing debates about What Unions Do and even links to the 1979 paper by Richard Freeman and James Medoff, “The Two Faces of Unionism”, which explained that unions benefit society by injecting “voice” into the workplace, which has spillover effects on democracy writ large, and reducing turnover, lowering wage discrimination, and reducing income inequality across society as a whole.   Today, the focus of study on unions in the US is largely centred on the relationship between falling union density and rising income inequality, as depicted starkly on the below chart.

income inequality

 

These issues are explored in my Law of Work text, in Chapters 3 [Key Perspectives that Shape the Law of Work] and 38 [Why Do Workers Join Unions, and What Effects Do Unions Have on Business?, written by Professor Scott Walsworth at the University of Saskatchewan.]

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One Response to Tweet of the Day: “Economists are Starting to Suspect that Unions Were a Better Deal than Textbooks Made Them Out To Be”

  1. Wesley Emerson Reply

    October 4, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    The 1979 paper by Richard Freeman and James Medoff, “The Two Faces of Unionism”, became a great book “What Do Unions Do.”

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