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Segmentation, Switching Costs and the Demand for Unionization in Britain

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  • Alex Bryson
  • Rafael Gomez

Abstract

This paper explains why some employees who favor unionization fail to join, and why others who wish to abandon union membership continue paying dues. Our explanation is based on a model where employees incur switching (search) costs when attempting to abandon (acquire) union membership. Empirical analysis for Britain confirms one of the main predictions from the switching-cost- model that segmentation in the market for unionization persists even when mandatory membership provisions are eliminated and economy-wide density falls. The importance of these and other empirical findings for both theory and policy are discussed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0568.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0568

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

Related research

Keywords: Union membership; switching costs; supply and demand for unionization;

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Cited by:
  1. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003. "Why Have Workers Stopped Joining Unions?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0589, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. David Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2008. "Union Decline in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0864, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Alex Bryson & Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora, 2005. "Why so Unhappy? The Effects of Unionisation on Job Satisfaction," CESifo Working Paper Series 1419, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Alex Bryson & Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "What voice do British workers want?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19850, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 2005. "New Survey Evidence on Recent Changes in UK Union Recognition," CEP Discussion Papers dp0685, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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