Do Unions Promote Members' Electoral Office Holding? Evidence from Correlates of State Legislatures' Occupational Shares
Controversies over the promise and perils of union political influence have erupted around the U.S. This study develops the first evidence on the degree to which labor unions develop members' political leadership in the broader community by studying the relationship between state legislators' occupations and the unionization rates of occupations across U.S. states. The fraction of legislators of a given occupation in a state increases with the occupation's rate of unionization in that state compared to the fraction of legislators of the same occupation in other states with lower unionization rates. This pattern shows up to varying degrees among the three public-sector and one private-sector occupations considered: K-12 teachers, police officers, fire fighters, and construction workers. It holds conditional on differences in observable state characteristics and when using state fixed effects. While much research has described the role of unions in influencing economic outcomes and in politics through lobbying, campaign contributions, and voter mobilization, this work adds a new perspective on the role of unions in society. They promote elected political leadership by individuals from working- and middle-class jobs. Arguments over the social value of this role of unions are explored.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2012|
|Publication status:||Published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2013, 66 (2)|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
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.:
- Daron Acemoglu, 2008.
"Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-44, 03.
- Daron Acemoglu, 2007. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 47, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
- Barry T. Hirsch, 2004. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 415-456, July.
- Hirsch, Barry, 2003. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," IZA Discussion Papers 892, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Barry T. Hirsch & David A. MacPherson, 2003. "Union Membership and Coverage Database from the Current Population Survey: Note," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 349-354, January.
- Roland Zullo, 2008. "Union Membership and Political Inclusion," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 62(1), pages 22-38, October.
- Gregory, Robert G. & Borland, Jeff, 1999. "Recent developments in public sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 53, pages 3573-3630 Elsevier.
- Addison, John T & Hirsch, Barry T, 1989. "Union Effects on Productivity, Profits, and Growth: Has the Long Run Arrived?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 72-105, January.
- John DiNardo & David S. Lee, 2004. "Economic Impacts of New Unionization on Private Sector Employers: 1984–2001," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1383-1441. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)