Accounting For The Decline in Union Membership
AbstractSince the early 50s, the percent of the workforce organized by unions has declined considerably. In the most recent decade that rate of decline has accelerated sharply. In an attempt to discover what factors can account for the overall decline and the further deterioration during the 70s, we decompose the sources of growth and decline to determine the relative importance of changes in organizing activity, success in certification elections, decertifications, and net growth due to economic causes. We find that all factors except decertifications account for a substantial part of the change. In addition, interactions between the factors are very important. A significant finding is that while organizing activity and success rates have been declining over time, the net growth (or loss) of membership due to economic causes has remained stable controlling for the aggregate level of economic activity. We argue that this finding is inconsistent with the prevailing view that the decline in the percent of the workforce organized is primarily due to the decline of the heavily unionized core industries.
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 InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1275.
Date of creation: Sep 1985
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2005. "The Effects of Technical Change on Labor Market Inequalities," Working Papers 89, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
- Michael Kremer & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009.
"A Biological Model of Unions,"
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 150-75, April.
- repec:fth:prinin:420 is not listed on IDEAS
- Hirsch, Barry T., 2007.
"Sluggish Institutions in a Dynamic World: Can Unions and Industrial Competition Coexist?,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Barry T. Hirsch, 2008. "Sluggish Institutions in a Dynamic World: Can Unions and Industrial Competition Coexist?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 153-176, Winter.
- Henry S. Farber, 1999. "Union Success in Representation Elections: Why Does Unit Size Matter?," NBER Working Papers 7229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alexey Levkov, 2010. "Branching of banks and union decline," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU10-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Gundlach, Erich & Schmidt, Klaus-Dieter, 1985. "Das amerikanische Beschäftigungswunder: Was sich daraus lernen läßt," Kiel Discussion Papers 109, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.