Do unions cause job dissatisfaction? Evidence from a quasi-experiment in the United Kingdom

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

British Journal of Industrial Relations


Ioulia Bessa, Andy Charlwood and Danat Valizade

Publication date


Unionized workers tend to be less satisfied with their jobs than their non‐union counterparts. Despite 40 years of research that has sought to explain this phenomenon, the causes of this relationship are not fully understood. Drawing on nationally representative panel data from the UK, this study uses quasi‐experimental methods to compare how the job satisfaction of union members and their non‐union counterparts changes in response to an exogenous event. Results suggest that working conditions rather than the behaviour of unions are the more likely cause of union member job dissatisfaction.




Pensions, Psychology, Sociology Of Labour, Labour Market, Labour Economics, Income Dynamics, Wages And Earnings and Well Being


Open Access; © 2020 The Authors. British Journal of Industrial Relations published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd; This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.; Online Early