Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 833–867

Labor market institutions and demographic employment patterns

  • Giuseppe Bertola
  • Francine D. Blau
  • Lawrence M. Kahn

DOI: 10.1007/s00148-007-0137-8

Cite this article as:
Bertola, G., Blau, F.D. & Kahn, L.M. J Popul Econ (2007) 20: 833. doi:10.1007/s00148-007-0137-8


We study collective bargaining’s effect on relative employment for youth, women, and older individuals. Our model of collective wage setting predicts that unionization reduces employment more for groups with relatively elastic labor supply: youth, older individuals, and women. We test this implication using data from 17 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries over the 1960–1996 period. We find that time-varying indicators of unionization decrease the employment–population ratio of young and older individuals relative to the prime-aged, and of prime-aged women relative to prime-aged men, and unionization raises the unemployment rate of prime-aged women and, possibly, young men compared to prime-aged men.


UnionsDemographic employment differentials

JEL Classification


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Bertola
    • 1
  • Francine D. Blau
    • 2
  • Lawrence M. Kahn
    • 3
  1. 1.Università di TorinoTurinItaly
  2. 2.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  3. 3.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA