Empirical evidence on the union free-rider problem: Do right-to-work laws matter?

  • Sobel R
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This study provides detailed statistics by state, industry, occupation, and worker characteristics on private sector wage and salary workers covered by union collective bargaining agreements but who are not union members. A distinction is made between those workers who value the benefits of coverage more than the cost of membership, the true free riders, and those who do not, the induced riders. A probit union membership equation is estimated on a sample which excludes the covered nonmembers. Predicted probabilities are then calculated from the estimated model, yielding a quantifiable measure of the true free-rider problem.

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  • Russell S. Sobel

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