Politics Matter: Changes in Unionization Rates in Rich Countries, 1960-2010
Researchers have offered several explanations for the decline in unionization. Many emphasize that “globalization” and the technological advances embodied in the “new economy” have made unions obsolete. However, if the decline in unionization is the inevitable response to the twin forces of globalization and technology, then we would expect unionization rates to follow a similar path in countries subjected to roughly similar levels of globalization and technology. This paper looks union membership and coverage for 21 rich economies, including the United States, and finds over the last five decades a wide range of trends in union membership and collective bargaining. The national political environment, not globalization or technology, is the most important factor driving long-run changes in unionization rates in the United States.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1611 Connecticut Ave, NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009|
Phone: (202) 293-5380
Fax: (202) 588 1356
Web page: http://www.cepr.net/
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.:
- Elisabetta Magnani & David Prentice, 2000.
"Did Globalization Reduce Unionisation? Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing,"
2000.17, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
- Magnani, Elisabetta & Prentice, David, 2003. "Did globalization reduce unionization? Evidence from US manufacturing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 705-726, December.
- David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003.
"The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1279-1333.
- David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
- David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Axel Dreher & Noel Gaston, 2005.
"Has globalisation really had no effect on unions?,"
KOF Working papers
05-110, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
- Stephen Machin, 2000.
"Union Decline in Britain,"
British Journal of Industrial Relations,
London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 631-645, December.
- Hall, Peter A. & Soskice, David (ed.), 2001. "Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199247752, May.
- Bernhard Ebbinghaus & Jelle Visser, 1998. "When Institutions Matter: Union Growth and Decline in Western Europe, 1950-95," MZES Working Papers 30, MZES.
- John Schmitt & Ben Zipperer, 2009. "Dropping the Ax: Illegal Firings During Union Election Campaigns, 1951-2007," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2009-12, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
- Vicente Navarro & John Schmitt & Javier Astudillo, 2004. "Is globalisation undermining the welfare state?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 133-152, January.
- Petri Böckerman & Roope Uusitalo, 2006. "Erosion of the Ghent System and Union Membership Decline: Lessons from Finland," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(2), pages 283-303, 06.
- Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2007.
"Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 118-133, February.
- Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20002, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- John Logan, 2006. "The Union Avoidance Industry in the United States," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(4), pages 651-675, December.
- James T. Bennett & Bruce E. Kaufman, 2004. "What Do Unions Do?: A Twenty-Year Perspective," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 339-350, July.
- Henry S. Farber & Bruce Western, 2001. "Accounting for the Decline of Unions in the Private Sector, 1973-1998 ," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 22(3), pages 459-485, July.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Violante, Giovanni L., 2001.
"Deunionization, technical change and inequality,"
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy,
Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 229-264, December.
- Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003.
"Why Have Workers Stopped Joining Unions?,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0589, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Robert E. Baldwin, 2003. "Decline of US Labor Unions and the Role of Trade, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 352.
- William T. Dickens & Jonathan S. Leonard, 1986. "Structural Changes in Unionization: 1973-1981," NBER Working Papers 1882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard Disney & Stephen Machin & Amanda Gosling, 1995. "British unions in decline: The determinants of the 1980s fall in union recognition," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 403-419, April.
- John Pencavel, 2005. "Unionism Viewed Internationally," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 26(1), pages 65-97, January.
- David G. Blanchflower, 2007. "International Patterns of Union Membership," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 1-28, 03.
- Petri Böckerman & Roope Uusitalo, 2005. "Union membership and the erosion of the Ghent system: Lessons from Finland," Labor and Demography 0508008, EconWPA.
- Bluestone, Barry & Harrison, Bennett, 1983. "The deindustrialization of America : Basic Books, Inc., 1982. ISBN 0-465-01590-5. $20," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 80-81.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2011-24. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.