Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

A Biological Model of Unions

Contents:

Author Info

  • Michael Kremer
  • Benjamin A. Olken

Abstract

This paper applies principles from evolutionary biology to the study of unions. We show that unions that implement the preferred wage and organizing policies of workers will be displaced in evolutionary competition by unions that either extract less from firms, allowing them to live longer, or spend more on union organizing, or both. This implies that unions with constitutional incumbency advantages that allow leaders to depart from members' preferences may have a selective advantage, allowing them to grow at the expense of unions lacking such provisions. Evidence from the history of American unions supports these predictions. (JEL A12, J51)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.1.2.150
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/2007-0003_data.zip
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/app/2007-0003_app.zip
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 150-75

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:150-75

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.2.150
Contact details of provider:
Email:
Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1997. "Spurts in Union Growth: Defining Moments and Social Processes," NBER Working Papers 6012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kim B. Clark & Richard B. Freeman, 1979. "How Elastic is The Demand for Labor?," NBER Working Papers 0309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. MacPherson, 1993. "Union membership and coverage files from the Current Population Surveys: Note," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(3), pages 574-578, April.
  4. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Specificity," NBER Working Papers 5757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Feenstra, Robert & Markusen, James R. & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "Understanding the Home Market Effect and the Gravity Equation: The Role of Differentiating Goods," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "Patterns of Firm Entry and Exit in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515, Winter.
  7. Michael D. Bordo & Claudia Goldin & Eugene N. White, 1998. "The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord98-1, October.
  8. David Card & Craig A. Olson, 1992. "Bargaining Power, Strike Duration, and Wage Outcomes: An Analysis of Strikes in the 1880s," NBER Working Papers 4075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Barry T. Hirsch, 2004. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 415-456, July.
  10. Moene, K.O. & Wallerstein, M. & Hoel, M., 1992. "Bargaining Structure and Economic Performance," Memorandum, Oslo University, Department of Economics 10/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  11. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
  12. Paula B. Voos, 1983. "Union organizing: Costs and benefits," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 36(4), pages 576-591, July.
  13. Richard B. Freeman & Morris M. Kleiner, 1994. "Do Unions Make Enterprises Insolvent?," NBER Working Papers 4797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. William T. Dickens & Jonathan S. Leonard, 1984. "Accounting For The Decline in Union Membership," NBER Working Papers 1275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. William T. Dickens & Jonathan S. Leonard, 1985. "Accounting for the decline in union membership, 1950รป1980," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(3), pages 323-334, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Thomas J. Holmes, 2006. "Geographic spillover of unionism," Staff Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 368, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
  1. A Biological Model of Unions (AEJ:AE 2009) in ReplicationWiki

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:2:p:150-75. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.