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Competition and the Retreat from Collective Bargaining

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Author Info

  • Brown , W.
  • Bryson , A.
  • Forth , J.

Abstract

For most of the twentieth century, collective bargaining provided the terms on which labour was commonly employed in Britain. However, the quarter century since 1980 has seen the collapse of collectivism as the main way of regulating employment. Our argument is that the tacit settlement between organized labour and employers was undermined by increasing product market competition. The paper first provides an overview of the changing map of collective bargaining, focusing on the private sector. It then moves on to ask why the retreat took place, and to explore the part played by product market competition and, in particular, by the profitability of different industries. The paper concludes with an analysis of the consequences of privatisation.

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File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe0831.pdf
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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 0831.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0831

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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

Related research

Keywords: collective bargaining; trade unions; competition; privatisation.;

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References

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  1. Brown, W., 2006. "The Influence of Product Markets on Industrial Relations," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0652, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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Cited by:
  1. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke, 2011. "Slip Sliding Away: Further Union Decline In Germany And Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 58(4), pages 490-518, 09.
  2. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346 Elsevier.
  3. William Brown & David Marsden, 2010. "Individualisation and Growing Diversity of Employment Relationships," CEP Discussion Papers dp1037, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke & Lutz Bellman, 2009. "The extent of collective bargaining and workplace representation: transitions between states and their determinants. A comparative analysis of Germany and Great Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27779, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Dr Alex Bryson & John Forth, 2009. "Unions and Workplace Performance in Britain and France," NIESR Discussion Papers 2189, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  6. Erling Barth & Karl O. Moene, 2009. "The Equality Multiplier," NBER Working Papers 15076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:cge:warwcg:42 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Crafts, Nicholas, 2012. "British relative economic decline revisited: The role of competition," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 17-29.
  9. repec:cge:warwcg:90 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Crafts, Nicholas, 2011. "British Relative Economic Decline Revisited," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 42, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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