Unions are Good for Your Health

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Written by Dean Baker   
Monday, 11 June 2012 06:43

We already knew that unions increase wages, especially for less-educated workers. They also strongly increase the probability that a worker will have benefits like health care insurance, a pension, or paid sick days and family leave. It turns out that unions are also good for your health.

A new study by Megan Reynolds and David Brady at Duke University finds that being a union member has a large positive effect on self-rated health status. This effect is largest for less-educated workers.

Given that unions provide a much greater degree of security on the job and protection against arbitrary actions by capricious bosses, it perhaps is not surprising to see that unions are associated with better health. After all stress can be a major factor leading to bad health. Still it is nice to see that Reynolds and Brady have produced the evidence showing that this is the case.