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Reputation, Membership and Wages in Open Shop Trade Union


  • Booth, Alison L
  • Chatterji, Monojit


In Britain there is no longer statutory support for the closed shop and in the United States many states have right-to-work laws. Wages and membership determination are examined in this setting. The main findings are: (1) already established unions will not necessarily wither away with the mere passage of right-to-work laws: (2) however, they may disintegrate when faced with substantial negative demand shocks; (3) new unions will find it harder to become established; (4) greater dispersion in worker attitudes to joining unions will lower membership but not necessarily wages, which is broadly consistent with some empirical studies. Copyright 1993 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1993. "Reputation, Membership and Wages in Open Shop Trade Union," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 23-41, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:45:y:1993:i:1:p:23-41

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Corneo, Giacomo G., 1997. "The theory of the open shop trade union reconsidered," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 71-84, March.
    2. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8882 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Aghion, Philippe & Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2008. "Can Policy Influence Culture? Minimum Wage and the Quality of Labor Relations," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0801, CEPREMAP.
    4. Holmlund, Bertil & Lundborg, Per, 1999. "Wage bargaining, union membership, and the organization of unemployment insurance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 397-415, September.
    5. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2007. "Trade Union Membership and Works Councils in West Germany," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(2), pages 154-175.
    6. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2005. "Determinants of Union Membership in 18 EU Countries : Evidence from Micro Data, 2002/03," Discussion Papers 31, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "Trade Union Membership in Eastern and Western Germany: Convergence or Divergence?," IZA Discussion Papers 707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2008. "Can Policy Interact with Culture? Minimum Wage and the Quality of Labor Relations," Working Papers hal-00972820, HAL.
    10. Chi-Hsin Wu & Chia-Ying Liu, 2008. "The organizational goal and work effort: an efficiency wage model," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 55(4), pages 351-361, December.
    11. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2011. "Civil Society And The State: The Interplay Between Cooperation And Minimum Wage Regulation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 3-42, February.
    12. Robin Naylor, 1995. "Unions in Decline?," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 22, pages 127-142.
    13. Chang, Juin-jen & Lai, Ching-chong, 1997. "Union membership and employment dynamics with endogenous union density," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 119-125, November.
    14. Azam, Jean-Paul & Rospabe, Sandrine, 2007. "Trade unions vs. statistical discrimination: Theory and application to post-apartheid South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 417-444, September.
    15. Laszlo Goerke & Markus Pannenberg, 2004. "Norm-Based Trade Union Membership: Evidence for Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(4), pages 481-504, November.
    16. Schnabel, Claus, 2002. "Determinants of trade union membership," Discussion Papers 15, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    17. Corneo, Giacomo, 1995. "Social custom, management opposition, and trade union membership," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 275-292, February.
    18. Lai, Ching-chong & Chang, Juin-jen & Chang, Wen-ya, 2001. "Currency devaluation in an open-shop union," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 61-74.
    19. Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "Determinants of Trade Union Membership in Western Germany: Evidence from Micro Data, 1980-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 708, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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