Note: This is post #59 in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics.
Do unions raise wages for workers as a whole? If not, can unions raise the wages of some workers? The answer, says economist Alex Tabarrok, is . . . it depends. Unions have the ability to restrict the supply of labor to a job, which can increase wages for some workers. However, unions can also lower wages. For example, work stoppages and strikes supported by unions can slow down economic growth, lowering real wages. In this video by Marginal Revolution University, Tabarrok looks at what happened to Great Britain’s economy during the 1970’s union strikes.
(If you find the pace of the videos too slow, I’d recommend watching them at 1.5 to 2 times the speed. You can adjust the speed at which the video plays by clicking on “Settings” (the gear symbol) and changing “Speed” from normal to 1.25, 1.5 or 2.)
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