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What happens when unions run firms? Unions as employee representatives and as employers

Ben-Ner, A and Estrin, Saul (1991) What happens when unions run firms? Unions as employee representatives and as employers. Journal of Comparative Economics, 15. pp. 65-87. ISSN 0147-5967

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Identification Number: 10.1016/0147-5967(91)90105-3


The paper investigates two faces of unions: a bargainer with employers, and an employer in its own right. We develop parallel models of union-owned and private unionized firms and employ a sample of Israeli manufacturing firms to test various hypotheses. We conclude that: (1) union-owned firms do not behave very differently from their private sector counterparts; (2) higher wages in union-owned firms are associated with higher productivity rather than with systematic differences in weights attached to profits as against wages and employment in the two types of firms; (3) union ownership enhances enterprise productivity; and (4) wage and employment bargains do not lie on the demand curve; instead, efficient bargaining with a stronger emphasis on employment than on wages is found in both firm types.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1991 Elsevier
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2008 08:34
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2019 23:24

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