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CEP discussion paper

A Tale of Two Countries: Unions, Closures and Growth in Britain and Norway


Using linked private sector employer-employee panel data for Britain and Norway we explore the effects of unionization on workplace closure and employment growth over the period 1997-2004. Unions prolonged the life of low-wage workplaces in Britain, whereas Norwegian unions increased (reduced) closure hazards in high (low) waged workplaces. Contrary to earlier studies, unions had no effect on workplace growth in Britain. In Norway, union workplaces experienced 4 percent per annum lower growth. However, the estimation of a dynamic panel data model for Norway indicates positive long-term causal effects of union density on employment.


Alex Bryson and Harald Dale-Olsen

May 2008     Paper Number CEPDP0867

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.