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

  • Azam, Jean-Paul
  • Salmon, Claire

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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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 166.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in Public Choice, vol.�119, n°3-4, juin 2004, p.�311-334.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:617
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  1. Rama, Martin, 1997. "Organized Labor and the Political Economy of Product Market Distortions," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 327-55, May.
  2. Card, David, 1990. "Strikes and Bargaining: A Survey of the Recent Empirical Literature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 410-15, May.
  3. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "The Political Economy of Labour Market Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293323, March.
  4. 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 262-71, June.
  5. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
  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. 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 269-91, August.
  8. 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 149-73, April.
  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. 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 145-70, January.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-95, September.
  13. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  14. 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.
  15. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  16. 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, Special I.
  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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