Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

(What) do unions maximise? Evidence from survey data

Contents:

Author Info

  • Peter G. Gahan
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Highly formalised models of union behaviour have been developed and are widely used within neoclassical economics. This approach is justified by the argument that most goals pursued by unions can be reduced to a wage (or wage-equivalent)--employment trade-off. However, the strong assumptions made about union goals and preferences, how these are determined and the range of issues over which a union will seek to bargain with a firm are not supported by extensive empirical evidence. This paper explores these issues through a survey of union leaders to ascertain the range of union goals and their preferences, and the types of issues over which unions bargain with employers. The results of the survey present convincing evidence that standard neoclassical models do not adequately capture union bargaining behaviour, or union goals and preferences. The findings presented here also throw open, but do not resolve, the question of whether unions are 'rational maximisers'. The most interesting result--not widely found within the economics or industrial relations literature--concerns the nature of union bargaining preferences. Union bargaining over employment appears to be asymmetric around current levels of employment, in that unions appear to care more about the employment implications of their bargaining strategies when they are likely to result in employment decreases. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

    Download Info

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 279-297

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:26:y:2002:i:3:p:279-297

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
    Fax: 01865 267 985
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.cje.oupjournals.org/

    Order Information:
    Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

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

    Cited by:
    1. Zanetti, Francesco, 2007. "A non-Walrasian labor market in a monetary model of the business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 2413-2437, July.
    2. Bhattacharyya, Chandril & Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 2014. "Unionised labour market, environment and endogenous growth," MPRA Paper 55416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Minas Vlassis & Nick Drydakis, 2012. "Wage discrimination and antidiscrimination policy in unionized industries," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 105(1), pages 45-62, January.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:26:y:2002:i:3:p:279-297. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).

    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.