A paper in Industrial Relations A Journal of Economy and Society performs a meta-analysis of a wide range of studies the impact of trade unions on productivity and finds a complex puzzle.
Studies of countries with strong unions show a solid correlation between unions and high productivity. But studies of workplaces with unions show almost no impact on productivity (either no impact or a slightly negative or positive impact, depending on the country). But an excellent analysis from Stumbling and Mumbling unravels the paradox:
You might wonder how the cross-country evidence shows a positive correlation whereas the cross-workplace evidence generally doesn't. Here's a theory. People will always want better pay and conditions. This is simply because they are human. If they can't achieve these through unions they will try to get them through the ballot box, in the form of legislation.
In this sense, as Philippe Aghion and colleagues show, there can be good and bad equilibria; a good equilibrium in which there are strong unions and little legislation, and a bad one in which there are weak unions and much regulation.
The UK fits their story. Whereas in the 70s businessmen complained about unions, they now whine about minimum wage laws and red tape.
But here's the thing. Regulation is a bad substitute for unions. Regulation is inflexible. Whereas collective bargaining - when done intelligently - can respond to different local conditions.
Unions & productivity [Stumbling and Mumbling]
(via Tim Harford)
(Image: WinnipegGeneralStrike, Wikimedia/Public Domain)
Edd writes, “I am a professor at Ithaca College in New York. Recently for a research study I tracked almost every Role Playing Game Book circulating in every public and academic library in the world.”
A. Peer, M. Ihmsen, J. Cornelis and M. Teschner’s SIGGRAPH paper “An Implicit Viscosity Formulation for SPH Fluids,” explored techniques for simulating the physics of smoothed-particle hydrodynamics — solids that melt and squoosh into liquids and slimes. As interesting as the paper is, the video is a showstopper — never have simulated anthropomorphic armadillo action-figures […]
Cyagen also makes stem cells and other bio-research materials: they’ll pay academics $100 in vouchers per citation, multiplied by the impact factor of the journal in which the paper is published.
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
SitePoint Premium is the ultimate e-learning library for web developers, designers, and digital professionals. Famous for their web development books written by industry leaders, they’ve expanded their content library to include in-depth video courses and short, handy screencasts partnering with A Book Apart and UX Mastery. Whatever you want to achieve in your web career, […]
Skip the technical jargon and get right to taking amazing, professional-quality photos with this complete training. The Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course includes 22 modules filled with tutorials on how to profit off of your photography, or simply capture your memories in the manner they deserve.Accredited by the Photography Education Accreditation CouncilDive into this 22 […]