Unions as insurance: Workplace unionization and workers' outcomes during COVID-19

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We investigate to what extent workplace unionization protects workers from external shocks by preventing involuntary job separations. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a plausibly exogenous shock hitting the whole economy, we compare workers who worked in unionized and non-unionized workplaces directly before the pandemic in a difference-in-differences framework. We find that unionized workers were substantially more likely to remain working for their pre-COVID employer and to be in employment. This greater employment stability was not traded off against lower working hours or labor income.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Relations
Number of pages20
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 02.08.2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 The Authors. Industrial Relations published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Regents of the University of California (RUC).