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Trends in Worker Demand for Union Representation


  • Henry S. Farber


The dramatic decline in the demand for union representation among nonunion workers over the last decade is investigated using data on worker preferences for union representation from four surveys conducted in 1977, 1980, 1982, and 1984. Relatively little of the decline can be accounted for by shifts in labor force structure. However, virtually all of the decline is correlated with an increase in the satisfaction of nonunion workers with their jobs and a decline in nonunion workers' beliefs that unions are able to improve wages and working conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Henry S. Farber, 1989. "Trends in Worker Demand for Union Representation," NBER Working Papers 2857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2857
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    1. Farber, Henry S & Saks, Daniel H, 1980. "Why Workers Want Unions: The Role of Relative Wages and Job Characteristics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 349-369, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Henry S. Farber & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "Union Membership in the United States: The Decline Continues," Working Papers 685, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. Leo Troy, 1992. "Convergence in International Unionism, etc. The Case of Canada and the USA," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 1-43, March.

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