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Cyclical Fluctuations in Strike Activity

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  • Sheena McConnell

Abstract

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
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    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.

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