Who Do Unions Target? Unionization Over the Life-Cycle of U.S. Businesses

Source: Emin Dinlersoz, Jeremy Greenwood, Henry R. Hyatt, US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP- 14-09, February 1, 2014

From the abstract:
What type of businesses do unions target for organizing and when? A dynamic model of the union organizing process is constructed to answer this question. A union monitors establishments in an industry to learn about their productivity, and decides which ones to organize and when. An establishment becomes unionized if the union targets it for organizing and wins the union certification election. The model predicts two main selection effects: unions target larger and more productive establishments early in their life-cycles, and among the establishments targeted, unions are more likely to win elections in smaller and less productive ones. These predictions find support in union certification elections data for 1977-2007 matched with data on establishment characteristics.