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On the Measurement and Determination of Trade Union Power


  • McDonald, Ian M
  • Suen, Anthony


The object of this paper is to develop a method by which trade-union power can be measured and by which the factors that influence the trade-union power can be identified. In the paper, two models of unions are compared--the insider-dominated union and the open union model. In both models, the outcome for wages and unemployment is determined by the asymmetric Nash solution. The method is applied to aggregate Australian data. The results suggest that union power is negatively related to the rate of unemployment, and positively related to union density, and that the accord tended to reduce union power. Copyright 1992 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Suggested Citation

  • McDonald, Ian M & Suen, Anthony, 1992. "On the Measurement and Determination of Trade Union Power," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(2), pages 209-224, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:54:y:1992:i:2:p:209-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. von Braun, Joachim & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul, 1991. "Income sources of malnourished people in rural areas: Microlevel information and policy implications," IFPRI working papers 5, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. repec:pje:journl:article1982winii is not listed on IDEAS
    3. John C. H. Fei & Gustav Ranis & Shirley W. Y. Kuo, 1978. "Growth and the Family Distribution of Income by Factor Components," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(1), pages 17-53.
    4. Glewwe, Paul, 1986. "The distribution of income in Sri Lanka in 1969-1970 and 1980-1981 : A decomposition analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 255-274, December.
    5. Quan, Nguyen T., 1989. "Concentration of income and land holdings : Prediction by latent variables model and partial least squares," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 55-76, July.
    6. Fields, Gary S, 1979. "Income Inequality in Urban Colombia: A Decomposition Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 25(3), pages 327-341, September.
    7. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-156, February.
    8. Hans De Kruijk, 1987. "Sources of Income Inequality in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 659-672.
    9. Graham Pyatt & Chau-nan Chen & John Fei, 1980. "The Distribution of Income by Factor Components," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 451-473.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boris Hirsch & Claus Schnabel, 2014. "What can we Learn from Bargaining Models about Union Power? The Decline in Union Power in Germany, 1992–2009," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 82(3), pages 347-362, June.
    2. Falch, Torberg & Strom, Bjarne, 2007. "Wage bargaining and monopsony," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 202-207, February.
    3. Canegrati, Emanuele, 2007. "The Single-Mindedness of Labor Unions: Theory and Empirical Evidence," MPRA Paper 1398, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Hirsch, Boris & Schnabel, Claus, 2011. "Let's take bargaining models seriously: The decline in union power in Germany, 1992 - 2009," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 10/2011, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    5. Sara Amoroso & Bertrand Melenberg & Joseph Plasmans & Mark Vancauteren, 2015. "Productivity, Price- and Wage-Markups: An Empirical Analysis of the Dutch Manufacturing Industry," CESifo Working Paper Series 5273, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. repec:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:605-624 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. canegrati, emanuele, 2007. "The single-mindedness of labor unions when transfers are not Lump-Sum," MPRA Paper 2320, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. canegrati, emanuele, 2006. "The Single Mindedness Theory of Labor Unions," MPRA Paper 1224, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Daniele Checchi, 2000. "Time series evidence on union densities in European countries," Departmental Working Papers 2000-10, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    10. Amoroso, S., 2013. "Heterogeneity of innovative, collaborative, and productive firm-level processes," Other publications TiSEM f5784a49-7053-401d-855d-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    11. Ellen Brock & Sabien Dobbelaere, 2006. "Has International Trade Affected Workers’ Bargaining Power?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(2), pages 233-266, July.
    12. Pull, Kerstin, 1999. "What is the fair wage? A model of as-if-co-operation," Quint-Essenzen 58, University of Trier, Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Community (IAAEG).
    13. Levy, A., 1999. "Profit and Non-Profit Maximising Network Density, Membership Fees and Service in Monopolistic and Duopolistic Framework," Economics Working Papers wp99-2, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    14. Madsen, Jakob B. & Islam, Md. Rabiul & Doucouliagos, Hristos, 2018. "Inequality, financial development and economic growth in the OECD, 1870–2011," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 605-624.
    15. Askildsen, Jan Erik & Nilsen, Oivind Anti, 2002. "Union membership and wage formation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 345-363, June.

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