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Bargaining Power, Strike Durations, and Wage Outcomes: An Analysis of Strikes in the 1880s

  • Card, David
  • Olson, Craig A

Strike outcomes in the 1880s had a 'winner-take-all' character. Successful strikes ended with a discrete wage gain; failed strikes ended with a return to work at the prestrike wage. The authors present a theoretical interpretation of these outcomes based on a war-of-attrition model. They fit an empirical model specifying the capitulation times of the two parties and the size of the wage gain in the event of a strike success. The results show a systematic relation between the determinants of strike success and the determinants of the wage gain for a successful strike. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 13 (1995)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 32-61

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:13:y:1995:i:1:p:32-61
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. Kennan, J. & Wilson, R., 1991. "Bargaining with Private Information," Working Papers 90-01rev, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  2. Ashenfelter, Orley, et al, 1992. "An Experimental Comparison of Dispute Rates in Alternative Arbitration Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1407-33, November.
  3. Joel Sobel & Takahashi, 1983. "A Multi-stage Model of Bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 255, David K. Levine.
  4. Hayes, Beth, 1984. "Unions and Strikes with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 57-83, January.
  5. Moffitt, Robert, 1985. "Unemployment insurance and the distribution of unemployment spells," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 85-101, April.
  6. 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 S87-130, Supplemen.
  7. Ashenfelter, Orley & Johnson, George E, 1969. "Bargaining Theory, Trade Unions, and Industrial Strike Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 35-49, March.
  8. McConnell, Sheena, 1989. "Strikes, Wages, and Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 801-15, September.
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