Using linked employer–employee data we investigate the job satisfaction effect of union membership in Britain. We develop a model that simultaneously controls for the determinants of individual membership status and for the selection of employees into occupations according to union coverage. We find a negative association between membership and satisfaction. However, having accounted for selection effects, we find that the negative association is confined to non-covered employees. This is consistent with 'voice' effects, whereby non-covered members voice dissatisfaction to achieve union goals, and with the possibility that membership increases preferences for collective bargaining, thus lowering members' satisfaction in non-covered environments
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