Loading...

ECON303: Labor Economics

  • Unit 10: Unions  

    We will now introduce labor unions and collective bargaining models to our study of the workings of the labor market.  Although labor unions attempt to maximize the well-being of their members and improve their economic status, they are often condemned because of the costs they impose on other members of society.  In order to protect the interests of both employers and employees, legislation has played a huge role in determining the power of unions. 

    Since the political and institutional environment plays an important role in defining employer-union relationship, differences in the proportions of unionized workers between countries can be explained by the differences in the political effectiveness of various union movements.  In the United States, private sector unions have nearly vanished, but public sector workers have continued to maintain their unionism over the years.

    Unit 10 Time Advisory

    This unit should take you 10 hours to complete.

    ☐    Subunit 10.1: 2-3  hours

    ☐    Subunit 10.2-10.4: 3 hours

    ☐    Subunit 10.5: 3 hours

    ☐    Assessment: 1 hour

    Unit10 Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    • Describe the formation and existence of unions as well as their effects on employers and employees.
  • 10.1 Introduction to Unions  

    • Reading: New York University: Professor Matthew Wiswall’s “Lecture Notes on Labor Economics”

      Link: New York University: Professor Matthew Wiswall's “Lecture Notes on Labor Economics” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Please click on “Lecture Notes” to access the pdf file with the lecture notes.  Scroll down to page 58, section 6 "Unions," and read the section all the way up to page 62.  This reading covers subunits 10.1.1-10.1.3.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

  • 10.1.1 Collective Bargaining  

  • 10.1.2 Rents and Unions  

  • 10.1.3 Unions in the Public Sector  

    • Reading: The Washington Times: Mark Mix's “Public Unions Seek National Monopoly”

      Link: The Washington Times: Mark Mix's “Public Unions Seek National Monopoly” (HTML)
       
      Instructions:  Please click on the above article for a description of how public unions have impacted wages and society.  This article was originally published on September 3,

      1.  
        Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.
    • Reading: McGraw Hill Higher Education: Online Learning Center: Campbell R. McConnell, Stanley L. Brue, and David A. Macpherson's “Contemporary Labor Economics, 8th edition: Student Edition: Chapter 10 (PowerPoint Presentations)”

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 10.2 Monopoly Unions  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned above Unit 10.2.

  • 10.3 The Efficient Bargains Model  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned above Unit 10.2.

  • 10.4 Strikes and the Bargaining Process  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned above Unit 10.2.

  • 10.5 The Effects of Unions  

    • Reading: McGraw Hill Higher Education: Online Learning Center: Campbell R. McConnell, Stanley L. Brue, and David A. Macpherson's “Contemporary Labor Economics, 8th edition: Student Edition: Chapter 11 (PowerPoint Presentations)”

      The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

      Submit Materials

  • 10.5.1 The Theory of Union Wage Effects  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned above Unit 10.5.

  • 10.5.2 The Effects of Unions on Employment  

    Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned above Unit 10.5.

  • 10.5.3 The Effects of Unions on Productivity and Profits  

    • Reading: Addison Wesley Companion Website: Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith's Modern Labor Economics, 8th Edition: “Student Resources: Chapter 13: Unions and the Labor Market”

      Link: Addison Wesley Companion Website: Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith's Modern Labor Economics, 8th Edition:Student Resources: Chapter 13: Unions and the Labor Market” (HTML)
       
      Instructions:  Please click on Chapter 13 (HTML) from the Table of Contents and then click on the Examples  (HTML) icon on the left hand bar.  Please read the three examples analytically.
       
      Note on the link: The first example in this chapter illustrates the impact that unions have had on wages, while the second example presents a case study of how monopoly unions dissolved as a result of deregulation in the airline industry.  The last example addresses the relationship between investment and unionization.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

    • Assessment: Addison Wesley Companion Website: Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith's Modern Labor Economics, 8th Edition: “Student Resources: Chapter 13: Unions and the Labor Market”

      Link: Addison Wesley Companion Website: Ronald G. Ehrenberg and Robert S. Smith's Modern Labor Economics, 8th Edition:Student Resources: Chapter 13: Unions and the Labor Market” (HTML)
       
      Instructions:  Please click on the Quiz  (HTML) icon on the left hand bar to assess your understanding of this chapter.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.