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Inequality and Union Membership: The Influence of Relative Earnings and Inequality Attitudes

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Author Info

  • Daniele Checchi
  • Jelle Visser
  • Herman G. van de Werfhorst

Abstract

Using surveys from the International Social Survey Programme covering the period 1985-2002 for seven European countries (West and East Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands and Great Britain), we examine the effect of relative earnings on union membership and show that union density is higher among workers in the intermediate earnings group than among low or high earners. Next, we examine the association of inequality attitudes with union membership and demonstrate that union membership is not only motivated by instrumental considerations related to relative earnings, but also by normative concerns about inequality. We interpret our findings suggesting that rising earnings inequality is in itself a source of union decline. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics in its journal British Journal of Industrial Relations.

Volume (Year): 48 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 84-108

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Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:48:y:2010:i:1:p:84-108

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Cited by:
  1. repec:ese:iserwp:2010-43 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Christopher Whelan & Bertrand Maitre, 2012. "GINI DP 37: Understanding Material Deprivation in Europe: A Multilevel Analysis," GINI Discussion Papers 37, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  3. Christopher T. Whelan & Bertrand MaƮtre, 2012. "Understanding Material Deprivation in Europe: A Multilevel Analysis," Working Papers 201205, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  4. Michail Veliziotis, 2013. "Trade Unions and Unpaid Overtime in Britain," Working Papers 20131304, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  5. Bram Lancee & Herman Werfhorst, 2011. "GINI DP 6: Income Inequality and Participation: A Comparison of 24 European Countries," GINI Discussion Papers 6, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.

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