The Relationship Between Union Membership and Net Fiscal Impact

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper develops the first evidence on how individuals’ union membership status affects their net fiscal impact, the difference between taxes they pay and cost of public benefits they receive, enriching our understanding of how labor relations interacts with public economics. Current Population Survey data between 1994 and 2015 in pooled cross-sections and individual first-difference models yield evidence that union membership has a positive net fiscal impact through the worker-level channels studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-107
Number of pages22
JournalIndustrial Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
*The authors’ affiliations are, respectively, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. E-mail:; and University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. E-mail: The authors thank John Budd, Brigham Frandsen, Greg Leiserson, Joseph Ritter, Elizabeth Davis, session participants at the LERA and SOLE annual meetings, and attendees of the Urban Institute seminar series for helpful feedback. They also thank the Minnesota Population Center for assistance with editing, as funded under grant #P2C HD041023.

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