Previous Chapter Chapter 16: Role of Labor Unions in Labor Markets Next Chapter

Paul F. Clark & Julie Sadler

In: 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 16: Role of Labor Unions in Labor Markets

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Role of Labor Unions in Labor Markets
Role of labor unions in labor markets

Labor unions are organizations formed by employees for the purpose of using their collective strength to improve compensation, benefits, and working conditions through bargaining; to bring fairness to the workplace through the provision of due process mechanisms; and to represent the interests of workers in the political process. Economists have traditionally viewed unions as functioning as labor market monopolies. Because they raise wages above the competitive levels set by the market, economists argue that labor unions create inefficiencies resulting in the loss of jobs and in greater income inequality in the workforce. For this reason, economists view unions as an undesirable interference in the operation of the market (Booth, 1995; Friedman & ...

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