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The Influence of Product Markets on Industrial Relations

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  • Brown, W.

Abstract

Product markets are the foundation on which industrial relations institutions are built. Trade union strength is partly dependent upon the state of the labour market, but it is imperfections in the product market that are the precondition of their winning benefits for their members. Sectoral agreements consequently formed the basis for collective bargaining in most industrialised countries. But international competition has destroyed this for much of the private sector. Quasi-markets have undermined it for much of the public sector. The paper assesses the empirical economic literature on the impact of product markets. It considers enthnographic insights into how competitive pressures feed through to managerial behaviour. It concludes with alternative strategies - co-operative bargaining, legislative intervention, and consumer campaigns - that seek to defend labour standards from competitive erosion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0652.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0652

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Related research

Keywords: product markets; John Commons; trade union power; collective bargaining; labour; wages; bargaining structure;

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  1. Ajit Singh, 2004. "Labour Standards and the 'Race to the Bottom': Rethinking Globalization and Workers' Rights from Developmental and Solidaristic Perspectives," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 85-104, Spring.
  2. Acocella,Nicola, 2005. "Economic Policy in the Age of Globalisation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521540384, April.
  3. Acocella,Nicola, 2005. "Economic Policy in the Age of Globalisation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521832823, April.
  4. Stephen Machin & M Stewart, 1995. "Trade Unions and Financial Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0242, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Brown, William & Terry, Michael, 1978. "The Changing Nature of National Wage Agreements," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 25(2), pages 119-33, June.
  6. Ulman, Lloyd, 1974. "Connective Bargaining and Competitive Bargaining," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 21(2), pages 97-109, June.
  7. Nolan, Peter & Brown, William, 1983. "Competition and Workplace Wage Determination," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 45(3), pages 269-87, August.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:cge:warwcg:42 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Crafts, Nicholas, 2011. "British Relative Economic Decline Revisited," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 42, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  3. Brown , W. & Bryson , A. & Forth , J., 2008. "Competition and the Retreat from Collective Bargaining," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0831, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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