Strikes, Free Riders, and Social Customs
This paper applies the social custom model developed by G. A. Akerlof (1980) to the problem of explaining the logic of collective strike action. The paper demonstrates the possibility of stable long-run equilibrium levels of support for a strike. The author also shows that the model can be applied to the issue of explaining the existence of a trade union, and builds on the results of A. L. Booth (1985) in explaining stable intermediate equilibrium membership. The paper does not claim to provide a general theory of strikes, but demonstrates the value of the social custom approach in enhancing the understanding of this class of labor market behavior. Copyright 1989, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Volume (Year): 104 (1989)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
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