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Impact Of Communist Parties On The Individual Decision To Join A Trade Union: Evidence From India


  • Rupayan PAL


The paper analyses the impact of the reach of communist parties, the degree of political activism, personal attributes of workers, and industrial characteristics on the individual decision to unionise for Indian non-agricultural regular workers using micro data from the 2004-05 Employment and Unemployment Survey, NSSO, linked to state-level factors. A notable result is that the reach of communist parties has considerable effect on unionisation probability. Moreover, it seems that mere existence of communist parties in a state also facilitates unionisation to some extent. State-level political activism and unemployment rate also influence the individual decision to be unionist. The paper concludes also that workers gender, marital status, ethnic background, employment status, experience, occupation, sector of employment, establishment size, and type of industry remain important in the determination of union membership.
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Suggested Citation

  • Rupayan PAL, 2010. "Impact Of Communist Parties On The Individual Decision To Join A Trade Union: Evidence From India," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 48(4), pages 496-528, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:deveco:v:48:y:2010:i:4:p:496-528

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bulkley, George & Myles, Gareth D., 2001. "Individually rational union membership," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 117-137, March.
    2. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
    3. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth, 2000. "Union status of young men in Britain: a decade of change," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 289-310.
    4. Georgios Marios Chrysanthou, 2007. "Determinants of Trade Union Membership in Great Britain During 1991-2003," Discussion Papers 07/01, Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. Robin Naylor, 1989. "Strikes, Free Riders, and Social Customs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 771-785.
    6. Bryson, Alex & Gomez, Rafael, 2003. "Why have workers stopped joining unions?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20022, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Green, Francis, 1990. "Trade Union Availability and Trade Union Membership in Britain," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 58(4), pages 378-394, December.
    8. Alison L. Booth, 1985. "The Free Rider Problem and a Social Custom Model of Trade Union Membership," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(1), pages 253-261.
    9. John M. Abowd & Henry S. Farber, 1982. "Job Queues and the Union Status of Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 354-367, April.
    10. 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, vol. 53(29), pages 41-61, February.
    11. Moreton, David R., 1998. "An open shop trade union model of wages, effort and membership," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 511-527, August.
    12. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
    13. Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2005. "Why Have Workers Stopped Joining Unions? The Rise in Never-Membership in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 67-92, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kaushik, Arun & Rupayan Pal, 2012. "Political strongholds and budget allocation for developmental expenditure: Evidence from Indian states, 1971-2005," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2012-015, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    2. Wolf-Heimo Grieben & Fuat Sener, 2012. "North-South Trade, Unemployment and Growth: What’s the Role of Labor Unions?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-06, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities


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