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The Economic Effects of Industrial Relations Legislation Since 1979

Author

Listed:
  • William Brown

    (Faculty of Economics and Politics, University of Cambridge.)

  • Sushil Wadhwani

    (Centre for Labour Economics, London School of Economics.)

Abstract

This is the fourth article from members of the CLARE Group to appear in the Review. Future articles will normally appear about twice a year. The Review is pleased to give hospitality to the deliberations of the CLARE Group but is not necessarily in agreement with the views expressed. Members of the CLARE Group are M.J. Artis, A.J.C. Britton, W.A. Brown, C. H. Feinstein, C.A.E. Goodhart, D.A. Hay, J.A. Kay, R.C.O. Matthews, M. H. Miller, P. M. Oppenheimer, M. V. Posner, W.B. Reddaway, J.R. Sargent, M.F-G. Scott, Z.A. Silberston, J.H.B. Tew, J.S. Vickers, S. Wadhwani. The industrial relations legislation of the 1980s has been widely credited with having made a major contribution to Britain's economic performance. This study evaluates its actual impact. The costs to trade unions of strike action have increased, but the legislation has had some perverse effects, not least in encouraging unions to tighten up their own organisation. The economic consequences predicted by the policy makers are investigated by means of a number of econometric studies. They suggest that the expected employment and wage effects did not occur. They also failed to provide improvements in labour productivity. The study offers an alternative explanation of these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • William Brown & Sushil Wadhwani, 1990. "The Economic Effects of Industrial Relations Legislation Since 1979," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 131(1), pages 57-70, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:niesru:v:131:y:1990:i:1:p:57-70
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 1991. "Changes in Union Status, Increased Competition and Wage Growth in the 1980s," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 603-611, December.
    2. P. K. Edwards, 1992. "Industrial Conflict: Themes and Issues in Recent Research," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 361-404, September.
    3. Odile Chagny & Frédéric Reynès & Henri Sterdyniak, 2002. "The equilibrium rate of unemployment : a theoretical discussion and an empirical evaluation for six OECD countries," Working Papers hal-01027421, HAL.
    4. Mark Wooden & Judith Sloan, 1998. "Industrial Relations Reform and Labour Market Outcomes: A Comparison of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Guy Debelle & Jeff Borland (ed.), Unemployment and the Australian Labour Market Reserve Bank of Australia.
    5. Paul Smith & Gary Morton, 1993. "Union Exclusion and the Decollectivization of Industrial Relations in Contemporary Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 97-114, March.
    6. Derek Leslie & Yonghao Pu, 1996. "What Caused Rising Earnings Inequality in Britain? Evidence from Time Series, 1970–1993," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 111-130, March.
    7. Paul Gregg & Anthony Yates, 1991. "Changes in Wage-setting Arrangements and Trade Union Presence in the 1980s," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 361-376, September.

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