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Did Globalization Reduce Unionisation? Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing

  • Elisabetta Magnani

    (The University of New South Wales)

  • David Prentice


    (School of Economics, La Trobe University)

How do globalization economic conditions affect labour market institutions such as unionism? We draw on recent theoretical and empirical work to yield a more comprehensive set of hypotheses related to the decline in unionisation. Furthermore, we extend recent theoretical work to highlight a direct role for competition (domestic and international) in determining unionisation. This paper uses a unique data set of U.S. three-digit manufacturing industries from 1972 to 1994 to test the hypothesis that domestic and international competition reduce unionisation. The main finding is that in spite of the importance of quasi-rents to explain unionisation, foreign and domestic competition are also significant determinants of unionisation.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, La Trobe University in its series Working Papers with number 2000.17.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:trb:wpaper:2000.17
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  10. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson, 1993. "Union Membership and Coverage Files from the Current Population Surveys: Note," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(3), pages 574-578, April.
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  19. John M. Abowd & Laurence Allain, 1996. "Compensation Structure and Product Market Competition," NBER Working Papers 5493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. David A. MacPherson & James B. Stewart, 1990. "The Effect of International Competition on Union and Nonunion Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(4), pages 434-446, July.
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  24. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1978. "Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 415-33, June.
  25. Edwards, Richard & Swaim, Paul, 1986. "Union-Nonunion Earnings Differentials and the Decline of Private-Sector Unionism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 97-102, May.
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