Right-to-Work Legislation, Social Capital, and Variations in State Union Density
AbstractThis paper exploits the variation in union membership among states to analyze the impact of right-to-work (RTW) laws on union density. The study is unique in its use of controls for employer opposition to unions, political affiliation, and social capital. These variables capture different dimensions of attitudes toward unions which can underlie both union density and the passage of RTW laws. Employer opposition and RTW laws have a significant, negative impact on union density, while voting for the Democratic presidential candidate in the 2000 election is insignificant. The social capital index also is insignificant, a result we explain and empirically demonstrate in terms of its contradictory impact on unionization. We then show that one of the components of social capital is a significant predictor of union density. The other focus variables remain significant. This equation explains over three-quarters of the variation in union density, a very high degree of explanatory power for a cross-sectional model. States with RTW legislation exhibit lower union density by 8.8 percentage points, ceteris paribus. We conclude that RTW laws have a strong, negative effect on union density that is independent of underlying attitudes toward unions.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Southern Regional Science Association in its journal Review of Regional Studies.
Volume (Year): 34 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.srsa.org
Right to Work; Social Capital; Union;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
- J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy
- R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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: (Mark L. Burkey).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.