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When Does Reducing Union Bargaining Power Increase Productivity? Evidence from the Workplace Relations Act
Economic Record (2011)
  • Samantha Farmakis-Gamboni
  • David Prentice, La Trobe University
Abstract
Despite a large empirical literature, the conditions under which unions have different effects on productivity have not been determined. The Australian Workplace Relations Act 1996 (WRA) provides a natural experiment in which union bargaining power was decreased. We estimate productivity growth before and after the WRA. While the WRA did not increase productivity growth in union firms compared with non-union firms, in industries with more extensive unionisation, productivity growth in union firms was greater post-WRA compared with pre-WRA growth for non-union firms. This suggests unionisation tends to have greater effects on productivity in sectors where it is more extensive.
Keywords
  • Unions,
  • Productivity,
  • Labor Regulation
Publication Date
December, 2011
Citation Information
Samantha Farmakis-Gamboni and David Prentice. "When Does Reducing Union Bargaining Power Increase Productivity? Evidence from the Workplace Relations Act" Economic Record Vol. 87 Iss. 279 (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/david_prentice/6/