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Politics matter: changes in unionisation rates in rich countries, 1960–2010

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  • John Schmitt
  • Alexandra Mitukiewicz

Abstract

Researchers have offered several explanations for the decline in unionization. Many emphasize that “globalization” and the technological advances embodied in the “new economy” have made unions obsolete. However, if the decline in unionization is the inevitable response to the twin forces of globalization and technology, then we would expect unionization rates to follow a similar path in countries subjected to roughly similar levels of globalization and technology. This paper looks union membership and coverage for 21 rich economies, including the United States, and finds over the last five decades a wide range of trends in union membership and collective bargaining. The national political environment, not globalization or technology, is the most important factor driving long-run changes in unionization rates in the United States.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-2338.2012.00675.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Industrial Relations Journal.

Volume (Year): 43 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (05)
Pages: 260-280

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Handle: RePEc:bla:indrel:v:43:y:2012:i:3:p:260-280

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0019-8692

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Schnabel, Claus, 2012. "Union membership and density: Some (not so) stylized facts and challenges," Discussion Papers 81, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  2. Töngür, Ünal & Elveren, Adem Yavuz, 2014. "Deunionization and pay inequality in OECD Countries: A panel Granger causality approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 417-425.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2013. "Economics versus Politics: Pitfalls of Policy Advice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 173-92, Spring.

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