Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Role of Unions in the Twenty-first Century: A Report for the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti

Contents:

Editor Info

  • Boeri, Tito
    (Bocconi University)
  • Brugiavini, Agar
    (University of Venice)
  • Calmfors, Lars
    (Stockholm University)

Additional information is available for the following registered editor(s):

Abstract

In this book, first-rate international scholars in the field explore the role that unions are likely to play in the changed economic environment of the new century. Questions discussed include: What will unions look like in the years to come? Which kind of interest groups will they represent? How important will be the broader political role of unions? To what extent do unions care about future generations? Part One documents a tendency towards greater decentralization in collective bargaining and declining union membership rates in most European countries. The process of decentralization may only be partly reversed by social pacts of the type that occurred in several EU countries in the run-up to EMU. Yet this type of co-ordination is likely to be increasingly unstable in a context where membership is falling, hence will inevitably require government intervention. Not all governments may wish to intervene in wage setting, however, as there are strong reasons to believe that such intervention could impose wage rigidities in some parts of the economy and lead to non-enforcement in other parts. Moreover, under EMU what matters is ultimately co-ordination of bargaining at the pan-European level rather than simply at the national level. Such higher-level, transnational co-ordination is not likely to occur for a long time to come because of the huge costs that it involves. Some transnational co-ordination may occur within multinational firms, however, as costs are likely to be much lower at this level. Part Two characterizes the intergenerational conflicts present within unions. Unions may be able to better respond to the needs of the unemployed without losing the support of current employees when they become involved in the running of unemployment benefit systems, as has been the case in those countries applying the so-called Ghent system. They may also succeed in making the system more efficient by, for example, contributing to the reduction of moral hazard problems associated with the provision of unemployment insurance. Unions are, however, unlikely to solve the latent conflict between their younger and older members in a context where the population is ageing, since they tend to preserve the status quo when it comes to cutting pension benefits in order to deal with demographic transition. The cost of these dynamic inefficiencies may be accepted by younger generations as long as an intergenerational contract can be enforced whereby unions guarantee that the status quo will be preserved, and are credible in their commitment. Unions could play a key role in this implicit intergenerational pact because they are long-lived agents---certainly longer-lived than many governments---but, under present conditions, this pact may be no longer credible. Contributors to this volume - Tito Boeri Alison Booth Michael Burda Lars Calmfors Daniele Checchi Robin Naylor Jelle Visser Villy Bergstrom Robert Flanagan Agar Brugiavini Bernhard Ebbinghaus Richard Freeman Pietro Garibaldi Bertil Holmund Martin Schludi Thierry Verdier Gilles Saint-Paul Michele Salvati Olivier Blanchard Steve Nickell

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

as in new window
This book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780199246588 and published in 2001.

ISBN: 9780199246588
Order: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199246588.do
Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199246588

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.oup.com/

Order Information:
Web: http://www.oup.com/

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. Eckhard Hein & Thorsten Schulten, 2004. "Unemployment, wages and collective bargaining in the European Union," Macroeconomics 0412006, EconWPA.
  2. Truger, Achim & Schulten, Thorsten & Hein, Eckhard, 2004. "Wage trends and deflation risks in Germany and Europe," WSI Discussion Papers 124, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.
  3. Luca Nunziata, 2001. "Institutions and Wage Determination: a Multi-Country Approach," Economics Series Working Papers 2001-W29, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Paul De Grauwe, 2006. "What have we learnt about monetary integration since the Maastricht Treaty?," Working Papers 03-2006, Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE), revised Nov 2008.

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:oxp:obooks:9780199246588. 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: (Economics Book Marketing).

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.