Unions Without Rents: The Curious Economics of Faculty Unions

25 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2004

See all articles by Arthur J. Hosios

Arthur J. Hosios

University of Toronto - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Aloysius Siow

University of Toronto - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We show that Canadian faculty unions have had no effect on university revenues, only a small positive effect on earnings, a negative effect on research output, and lead to earnings redistributions across disciplines and ranks. We argue that faculty unions have a negligible positive (and often negative) effect on average faculty wages, because a union that promotes the median faculty member's welfare negotiates wage redistributions and more onerous teaching conditions, despite the negative impact these changes have on research output. Average wages may rise, but only because non-unionized universities trade off wages against the non-pecuniary benefits from research and teaching.

JEL Classification: I20, J51, J54

Suggested Citation

Hosios, Arthur J. and Siow, Aloysius, Unions Without Rents: The Curious Economics of Faculty Unions. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=513403

Arthur J. Hosios (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

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Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G7
Canada
416-978-8997 (Phone)
416-978-6713 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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United States

Aloysius Siow

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G7
Canada
416-978-4139 (Phone)
416-978-6713 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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