IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

What Did Unions Do... An Analysis of Canadian Strike Data, 1901-14

  • Michael Huberman
  • Denise Young

Using a new data source on early Canadian strikes, this paper seeks to explain the determinants of strike durations, 1901-14. Three different approaches are evaluated: a screening model, a strike-waves model, and a war-of-attrition model. The results are sensitive to strike issue. For non-wage issue strikes, the screening model performs poorly. A strike-waves model that incorporates elements of a war-of-attrition is best suited to explain the durations of multiple-issue strikes. The determinants of durations for the period are compared with findings for the period after 1945. Avec l'aide d'une nouvelle source de données sur les grèves canadiennes, cet article cherche à expliquer les facteurs déterminants dans la durée des grèves pour la période allant de 1901 à 1914. Trois approches différentes sont évaluées : un modèle screening, un modèle vague-de-grèves, et un modèle de guerre d'usure. Les résultats sont directement liés aux facteurs mis en jeu dans les grèves. Pour les grèves dont les points de litige ne portent pas sur les revenus, le modèle screening n'est pas très adéquat. Un modèle vague-de-grève qui incorpore les éléments d'un modèle de guerre d'usure offre un meilleur cadre pour analyser les durées des grèves ayant de multiples points de litige. Les facteurs déterminants dans la durée des grèves pour la période sont comparés aux résultats trouvés pour la période d'après 1945.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 95s-17.

in new window

Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:95s-17
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1130 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, suite 1400, Montréal, Quéc, H3A 2M8
Phone: (514) 985-4000
Fax: (514) 985-4039
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-79, June.
  2. Gunderson, Morley & Melino, Angelo, 1990. "The Effects of Public Policy on Strike Duration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(3), pages 295-316, July.
  3. David Card & Craig A. Olson, 1992. "Bargaining Power, Strike Duration, and Wage Outcomes: An Analysis of Strikes in the 1880s," NBER Working Papers 4075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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 S87-130, Supplemen.
  5. Kennan, John, 1985. "The duration of contract strikes in U.S. manufacturing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 5-28, April.
  6. David Card, 1988. "Strikes and Wages: A Test of a Signalling Model," NBER Working Papers 2550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sheena McConnell, 1990. "Cyclical fluctuations in strike activity," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 130-143, October.
  8. Jaggia, Sanjiv, 1991. "Tests of moment restrictions in parametric duration models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 35-38, September.
  9. Morley Gunderson & John Kervin & Frank Reid, 1989. "The Effect of Labour Relations Legislation on Strike Incidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(4), pages 779-94, November.
  10. Martin J. Mauro, 1982. "Strikes as a result of imperfect information," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(4), pages 522-538, July.
  11. Tracy, Joseph S, 1986. "An Investigation into the Determinants of U.S. Strike Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 423-36, June.
  12. Dennis Maki, 1986. "The effect of the cost of strikes on the volume of strike activity," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(4), pages 552-563, July.
  13. Hayes, Beth, 1984. "Unions and Strikes with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 57-83, January.
  14. McConnell, Sheena, 1989. "Strikes, Wages, and Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 801-15, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:95s-17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.