An Empirical Comparison of Labour Relations Laws in Canada and the United States

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This study evaluates the extent to which labour relations laws bring flexibility to the labour market while balancing the needs of employers and employees. Balanced labour laws are crucial in creating and maintaining an environment that encourages productive economic activity. Labour relations laws inhibit the proper functioning of a labour market and thus reduce its performance when they favour one group over another or are overly prescriptive, that is, when they impose a resolution to labour disputes rather than fostering negotiation between employers and employees. Empirical evidence from around the world indicates that jurisdictions with flexible labour markets enjoy more productive labour markets (higher job creation rates, lower unemployment, and higher incomes) as well as a generally more prosperous economy.

This publication provides an empirical evaluation of labour relations laws in the private sector for the 10 Canadian provinces, the Canadian federal jurisdiction, and the 50 US states. In all, 10 components of labour relations laws are examined, grouped into three categories: (1) Certification and Decertification; (2) Union Security, and; (3) Regulation of Unionized Firms.

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