IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Strategic militancy and the probability of strikes in union-firm bargaining


  • Appelbaum, Elie


The paper provides a model that explains the probability of strikes by the union's use of militancy as a strategic tool in bargaining. Militants are useful because they provide a credible threat, hence enhancing the union's bargaining position. Using a multi-stage bargaining game, we show that, in general, militants will be used by the union as a strategic tool. The strategic benefit of militancy is reflected by the fact that the wage and employment level will be higher in a union that uses militants, compared to a union that does not. We use the model to show that the level of militancy and the probability of a strike decrease with the union's power. This suggests that policies that increase the strength of the union will have, at least, a partial positive effect on social welfare. We also show that the model can be viewed as providing an equilibrium of a repeated game, an interpretation that can explain the probability of strikes even in the absence of militants.

Suggested Citation

  • Appelbaum, Elie, 2008. "Strategic militancy and the probability of strikes in union-firm bargaining," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 315-333, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:15:y:2008:i:3:p:315-333

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Appelbaum, Elie, 2008. "Extremism as a strategic tool in conflicts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 352-364, November.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:15:y:2008:i:3:p:315-333. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.