Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Declining Union Organization
New union members in the United States are typically gained through workplace elections. We find that the annual number of union elections fell by 50 per cent in the early 1980s. A formal model indicates that declining union election activity may be due to an unfavourable political climate which raises the costs of unionization, even though the union win-rate remains unaffected. We relate the timing of declining election activity to the air-traffic controllers' strike of 1981, and the appointment of the Reagan Labor Board in 1983. Empirical analysis shows that the fall in election activity preceded these developments. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd/London School of Economics 2002.
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Volume (Year): 40 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
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