DP15350 Trade Unions and the Welfare of Rural-Urban Migrant Workers in China

Author(s): Alison L Booth, Richard B Freeman, Xin Meng, James Zhang
Publication Date: October 2020
Keyword(s): China, Rural-Urban Migration, Trade union
JEL(s): J5, O53, P21, P30
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15350

Using a panel survey, we investigate how the welfare of rural-urban migrant workers in China is affected by trade union presence at the workplace. Controlling for individual fixed- effects, we find the following. Relative to workers from workplaces without union presence or with inactive unions, both union-covered non-members and union members in workplaces with active unions earn higher monthly income, are more likely to have a written contract, be covered by social insurances, receive fringe benefits, express work-related grievances through official channels, feel more satisfied with their lives, and are less likely to have mental health problems.