The Effects on Labor Organizing on Worker Welfare and Service Quality: Experimental Evidence from Healthcare Facilities
The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the high costs associated with low-wage, essential healthcare work, for both workers and consumers. In low-wage healthcare, where patient care often relies on a high-turnover workforce, improving the quality of jobs is likely to benefit both workers and patients. Leveraging a partnership with a large healthcare union, we will randomize ‘labor organizing resources’ to half of over two hundred healthcare facilities. Using administrative and survey data, we will then measure the firm and worker-level impacts of labor organizing on earnings, employment, turnover, changes in worker composition, workplace culture and cohesion, and service quality (patient outcomes). We will also include an in-depth qualitative component to the evaluation. This project will provide the first experimental evidence of the indirect (i.e. threat) and direct effects of unionization on firm and worker-level outcomes, including patient outcomes and wages.