How Successful Have Trade Unions Been? A Utility-Based Indicator of Union Well-Being
Can conventional economic analysis help in defining and measuring the success of labor unions? In this paper, a general indicator of union welfare is proposed and particular expressions for the wage and employment objectives of unions are rearranged to derive measures of union success or welfare. These indicators combine two measures: union density and the relative union-nonunion wage gap. The indicators are applied to describe the movement of union welfare in the United States over the past eighty years, the differences in union success among groups of U.S. workers, and the variation in union well-being across countries. The results suggest that U.S. unions’ success peaked in the 1950s and 1960s; they have tended to benefit black workers, especially black men, more than other groups; and in recent decades a very low unionization rate has contributed to make them less successful, overall, than unions in other countries with similar labor markets.
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Volume (Year): 62 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Fax: 607-255-8016|
Web page: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: 381 Ives East, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-3901|
Web: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/ Email:
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521464673 is not listed on IDEAS
- Ashenfelter, Orley, 1972.
"Racial Discrimination and Trade Unionism,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 435-64, May-June.
- Dertouzos, James N & Pencavel, John H, 1981. "Wage and Employment Determination under Trade Unionism: The International Typographical Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1162-81, December.
- Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 1991.
"Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market,"
Oxford University Press, number 9780198284345, March.
- Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, March.
- Johnson, George E, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions-An Introductory Survey: Comment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 194-96.
- Farber, Henry S, 1978. "Individual Preferences and Union Wage Determination: The Case of the United Mine Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 923-42, October.
- Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
- C. Bowdler & L. Nunziata, 2007.
"Trade Union Density and Inflation Performance: Evidence from OECD Panel Data,"
London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 135-159, 02.
- Christopher Bowdler & Luca Nunziata, 2005. "Trade union density and inflation performance: evidence from OECD panel data," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0009, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
- Brown, James N & Ashenfelter, Orley, 1986.
"Testing the Efficiency of Employment Contracts,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S40-S87, June.
- Rees, Albert, 1989. "The Economics of Trade Unions," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226707105.
- Pencavel, John & Hartsog, Catherine E, 1984. "A Reconsideration of the Effects of Unionism on Relative Wages and Employment in the United States, 1920-1980," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 193-232, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:62:y:2009:i:2:p:147-156. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ILR Review)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.