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Strikes and Political Activism of Trade Unions: Theory and Application to Bangladesh

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  • Azam, Jean-Paul
  • Salmon, Claire

Abstract

The behavior of Bangladeshi trade unions is characterized by political activism and momentous strikes, called hartals there, have played a crucial part in most political changes in this country. We offer a theoretical framework for discussing this fact, and we test empirically its main prediction by bringing out the political cycle that characterizes the occurrence of strikes in Bangladesh.
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Suggested Citation

  • Azam, Jean-Paul & Salmon, Claire, 2003. "Strikes and Political Activism of Trade Unions: Theory and Application to Bangladesh," IDEI Working Papers 166, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:617
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    2. Rama, Martin, 1997. "Organized Labor and the Political Economy of Product Market Distortions," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 327-355, May.
    3. Booth, Alison & Cressy, Robert, 1990. "Strikes with Asymmetric Information: Theory and Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(3), pages 269-291, August.
    4. Card, David, 1990. "Strikes and Bargaining: A Survey of the Recent Empirical Literature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 410-415, May.
    5. Mumford, Karen, 1993. "A Critical Comparison of Models of Strike Activity," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(3), pages 285-312, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-193.
    8. Booth, Alison & Cressy, Robert, 1990. "Erratum [Strikes with Asymmetric Information: Theory and Evidence]," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(4), pages 492-492, Special I.
    9. Hayes, Beth, 1984. "Unions and Strikes with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 57-83, January.
    10. Tracy, Joseph S, 1987. "An Empirical Test of an Asymmetric Information Model of Strikes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(2), pages 149-173, April.
    11. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    12. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-595, September.
    13. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Ghanem, Hafez & Thierfelder, Karen, 1997. "Economic Reform and Labor Unions: A General-Equilibrium Analysis Applied to Bangladesh and Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 145-170, January.
    14. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "The Political Economy of Labour Market Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293323.
    15. Farber, Henry S, 1978. "Bargaining Theory, Wage Outcomes, and the Occurrence of Strikes: An Econometric Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 262-271, June.
    16. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
    17. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. M. Castellani & L. Fanelli & M. Savioli, 2015. "Government fiscal efforts vs. labour union strikes. Strategic substitutes or complements?," Working Papers wp1013, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Massimiliano Castellani & Luca Fanelli & Marco Savioli, 2013. "Government Fiscal Efforts vs. Labour Union Strikes: It Takes Two to Tango," Working Paper series 33_13, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2014.
    3. Kåre Vernby, 2007. "Strikes are more common in countries with majoritarian electoral systems," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 65-84, July.

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