The role of unions in addressing behavioural market failures

Harcourt, Mark, Gall, Gregor, Kumar, Rinu Vimal and Croucher, Richard ORCID logoORCID: (2019) The role of unions in addressing behavioural market failures. Economic and Industrial Democracy . ISSN 0143-831X [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1177/0143831X19853027)

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The traditional view of economists is that unions cause market failures, thereby reducing economic efficiency. Freeman and Medoff challenged this overly negative view, suggesting unions address market failures associated with the ‘public goods’ aspects of terms and conditions in the workplace for members and non-members alike. This paper builds upon their work by arguing workers’ collective voice via unions can also be used to address particular behavioural market failures associated with common defects in individual cognition. Specifically, this paper suggests how unions through membership, expert and organisational learning effects can help address four common behavioural market failures or cognitive mistakes, namely, short-termism, inattention to important but hidden attributes, unrealistic optimism, and poor probability estimation. In order to explore how the three effects help mitigate the four failures, the paper draws upon insights from behavioural economics. Finally, the paper discusses the factors which influence the extent of the application of the three effects.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 26539
Notes on copyright: Gall, Gregor, Harcourt, Mark and Croucher, Richard (2019) The Role of Unions in Addressing Behavioural Market Failures. Economic and Industrial Democracy (Journal Volume Number and Issue Number) pp. xx-xx. Copyright © 2019 (Copyright Holder). DOI: 10.1177/0143831X19853027. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
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Depositing User: Mark Houssart
Date Deposited: 07 May 2019 10:32
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:09

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