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Difficult Choices: Crossing the Picket Line during the 1987 National Football League Strike


  • Gramm, Cynthia L
  • Schnell, John F


This study examines the difficult choice faced by members of a striking bargaining unit between withholding labor or crossing the picket line in violation of the prevailing behavioral norm. Using duration analysis, the authors test a model of crossing behavior using data on individual football players during the 1987 National Football League strike. A notable finding is that nonwhite players are less willing to cross the picket line if their team union representative is also nonwhite. Willingness to cross the line is also influenced by teammate crossing and proxies for expected career length, demand for current income, and expected benefits from union demands. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Gramm, Cynthia L & Schnell, John F, 1994. "Difficult Choices: Crossing the Picket Line during the 1987 National Football League Strike," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 41-73, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:12:y:1994:i:1:p:41-73

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1972. "Racial Discrimination and Trade Unionism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 435-464, May-June.
    2. Michele M. Hoyman & Lamont Stallworth, 1987. "Participation in Local Unions: A Comparison of Black and White Members," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(3), pages 323-335, April.
    3. repec:ilo:ilowps:265729 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kennan, John & Wilson, Robert, 1989. "Strategic Bargaining Models and Interpretation of Strike Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(S), pages 87-130, Supplemen.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boulier, Bryan L. & Stekler, H.O. & Coburn, Jason & Rankins, Timothy, 2010. "Evaluating National Football League draft choices: The passing game," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 589-605, July.

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