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Collectivism versus individualism: performance-related pay and union coverage for non-standard workers in Britain

  • Booth, Alison L.
  • Francesconi, Marco

This paper documents the extent of union coverage and performance-related pay (PRP) - the latter representing one aspect of pay flexibility - across standard and non-standard workers in Britain, using the first seven waves of the British Household Panel Survey, 1991-1997. We find there is no evidence of expansion of either union coverage or PRP towards any type of non-standard employment in the 1990s. Thus union rhetoric about a 'strategy of enlargement' towards non-standard workers remains just that. The only trend over time that we do observe is a continued small decline in union coverage for all male workers (but not for women) and a continued very small growth in PRP coverage for all women (but not for men). In addition, while we find large gender differences in union coverage across non-standard workers, there are only negligible gender differences in PRP incidence. Moreover, the relationship between non-standard employment and PRP is typically weak for both men and women. We also find significant occupational and sectoral differences in union coverage and PRP incidence across non-standard workers.

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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2000-35.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2000-35
Contact details of provider: Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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  1. Claudia Goldin, 1985. "Monitoring Costs and Occupational Segregation by Sex: An Historical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 1560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nicholas Bacon & John Storey, 2000. "New Employee Relations Strategies in Britain: Towards Individualism or Partnership?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(3), pages 407-427, 09.
  3. Lewis Segal & Daniel Sullivan, 1996. "The growth of temporary services work," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Charles Brown, 1990. "Firms' choice of method of pay," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 165-182, February.
  5. Polachek, Solomon W. & Kim, Moon-Kak, 1994. "Panel estimates of the gender earnings gap : Individual-specific intercept and individual-specific slope models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 23-42, March.
  6. Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
  7. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  8. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth, 2000. "Union status of young men in Britain: a decade of change," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 289-310.
  9. Robert Gibbons, 1998. "Incentives in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 6695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lazear, Edward P, 2000. "The Future of Personnel Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F611-39, November.
  11. Machin, Stephen, 1997. "The decline of labour market institutions and the rise in wage inequality in Britain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 647-657, April.
  12. Booth, Alison L & Frank, Jeff, 1999. "Earnings, Productivity, and Performance-Related Pay," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 447-63, July.
  13. Booth, Alison L & Frank, Jeff, 1994. "Seniority, Earnings and Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1007, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. repec:ese:iserwp:2000-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Card, David, 1996. "The Effect of Unions on the Structure of Wages: A Longitudinal Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 957-79, July.
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