How does union strength affect economic development in Latin America?

  • Giacomo Mattei The University of Tampa
Keywords: Unionization, Economic Development, political economy, Latin America, Economic Development Index


This case study analysis observes the effect of union strength on economic development in Argentina, Mexico, and Peru. This topic has formerly been given restricted scrutiny. Economic development in this paper is operationalized comprehensively, rather than as isolated factors. The theory tested is whether union strength has a diminishing returns effect on various economic development indicators. Using the most similar system designs, findings include: 1) centralized unions correlate positively with research and development; 2) wages correlate positively with union strength; union strength has a diminishing returns effect on the following: 3) productivity; 4) equality; 5) employment; 6) social well-being; and 7) overall, union strength has a diminishing returns effect on economic development. This may be due to the measures used in the study. This Index could only rely on indicators for which country-specific and regional data was available, so more research is necessary to draw more confident conclusions.