Declining Unionization in Construction: The Facts and the Reasons
This paper documents and examines the forces behind the decline of unionization in the construction industry. The proportion of construction workers belonging to unions has dropped from slightly less than one-half in 1966 to less than one-third in 1984. The employment share of union contractors has declined even further because of the fraction of union members working in the open shop rose from 29 to 46 percent between 1973 and 1981. Initially, an important factor in the initial decline in percentage unionized was the growth in the union-nonunion wage gap between 1967 and 1973. However, the gap did not widen any further after 1973 and actually has narrowed substantially since 1978. A key subsequent factor has been the erosion of the productivity advantage of union contractors, which dropped substantially between 1972 and 1977 and vanished by 1982. The decline of unionization is unrelated to changes in worker characteristics or changes in the mix and location of construction activity.
|Date of creation:||Jul 1987|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Allen, Steven G. "Declining Unionization in Construction: The Facts and the Reasons," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 41, No. 3,pp. 343-359, (April 1988).|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Mellow, Wesley, 1982. "Employer Size and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(3), pages 495-501, August.
- Freeman, Richard Barry, 1984.
"Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions,"
4631951, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Freeman, Richard B, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, January.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1983. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," NBER Working Papers 1207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1981.
"A Competitive Theory of Monopoly Unionism,"
NBER Working Papers
0672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steven G. Allen, 1984. "Unionized Construction Workers are More Productive," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(2), pages 251-274.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2320. 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.