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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in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 109-148
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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CEP Discussion Papers
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CEP Discussion Papers
dp0512, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Rafael Gomez & Morley Gunderson & Noah Meltz, 2001. "From 'playstations' to 'workstations': youth preferences for unionisation in Canada," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20100, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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- Henry S. Farber, 1982. "The Determination of the Union Status of Workers," NBER Working Papers 1006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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