IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Cyclical Fluctuations in Strike Activity


  • Sheena McConnell


Using a set of data on contracts and strikes for the period 1970–81, the author distinguishes among the roles of aggregate business conditions, labor market conditions, and product market conditions in the determination of strike incidence and duration. Strike incidence is found to be highest in industries that are depressed relative to the rest of the economy but in regions with low unemployment. This finding is consistent with the theory that the cost of a strike to a firm increases with the demand for its product and the cost of a strike to the union increases with unemployment. Another finding, however, is that strikes are longest in industries that are booming relative to the rest of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheena McConnell, 1990. "Cyclical Fluctuations in Strike Activity," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 130-143, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:44:y:1990:i:1:p:130-143

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


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

    Cited by:

    1. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2011. "A Good Time to Stay Out? Strikes and the Business Cycle," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 70-92, June.
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:42-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Currie, Janet & McConnell, Sheena, 1994. "The Impact of Collective-Bargaining Legislation on Disputes in the U.S. Public Sector: No Legislation May Be the Worst Legislation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 519-547, October.
    4. Harrison, Alan & Stewart, Mark, 1994. "Is Strike Behavior Cyclical?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 524-553, October.
    5. A. P. Dickerson & P. A. Geroski & K. G. Knight, 1997. "Productivity, Efficiency and Strike Activity," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 119-134.

    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:sae:ilrrev:v:44:y:1990:i:1:p:130-143. 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: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.