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Unemployment and the Demand for Unions

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  • David G. Blanchflower
  • Robert Crouchley
  • Saul Estrin
  • Andrew Oswald

Abstract

Why do people join open-shop unions when they would receive union wage rates even if they were not members? Why are unionization rates so low in the south-east of England? To address these questions, which we treat as interrelated, the paper considers the idea that unions offer insurance against victimization and arbitrary dismissal. Consistent with our theoretical approach, we find that union density is greatest, ceteris paribus, within establishments in areas of high unemployment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3251.

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Date of creation: Feb 1990
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3251

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  1. Booth, Alison L, 1985. "The Free Rider Problem and a Social Custom Model of Trade Union Membership," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 253-61, February.
  2. Booth, Alison, 1986. "Estimating the Probability of Trade Union Membership: A Study of Men and Women in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(29), pages 41-61, February.
  3. Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A. & Garrett, M., 1988. "Insider Power In Wage Determination," Papers, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics 319, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  4. Rees, Albert, 1989. "The Economics of Trade Unions," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226707105, February.
  5. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  6. Farber, Henry S & Saks, Daniel H, 1980. "Why Workers Want Unions: The Role of Relative Wages and Job Characteristics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 349-69, April.
  7. Neumann, George R & Rissman, Ellen R, 1984. "Where Have All the Union Members Gone?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 175-92, April.
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Cited by:
  1. N Millward, 1993. "Uses of the Workplace Industrial Relations Surveys by British Labour Economists," CEP Discussion Papers dp0145, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. N. Millward, 1993. "Uses of the workplace industrial relations surveys by British labour economists," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 20964, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Daniele Checchi, 2000. "Time series evidence on union densities in European countries," Departmental Working Papers, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano 2000-10, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  4. Daniele Checchi & Claudio Lucifora, 2002. "Unions and labour market institutions in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 361-408, October.

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