Youth-Adult Differences in the Demand for Unionization: Are American, British, and Canadian Workers All That Different?
We examine demand for union membership amongst young and adult workers in Britain, Canada, and the United States. Using a model of representation advanced by Farber (1983, 2001) and Riddell (1993), we find that a majority of the union density differential between young and adult workers in all three countries is due to supply-side constraints rather than a lower desire for unionization by the young. This finding lends credence to two conjectures: first, tastes for collective representation do not differ substantially among workers (either by nationality or by age) and second, union representation can be fruitfully modeled as an experience-good. The experience-good properties of union membership explain the persistence of union density differentials (in this case between youth and adults) in the face of equal levels of desired representation.
Volume (Year): 26 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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