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Title:What Can We Learn About the Decline in U.S. Union Membership from International Data? PDF Logo
Authors:Polachek, Solomon W.
Issue Date:2003
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion paper series 896
Abstract:This paper is composed of two parts. First, using international data, I corroborate that union density in the U.S. declined because of asymmetric growth between the union and nonunion sectors. I show union density to increase in countries experiencing strong manufacturing growth, and to decline in countries undergoing large women?s increases in nonagricultural employment. Second, I borrow from international relations research on war and peace to develop a cogent reason why union density differs by sector. In this vein, I apply a model primarily used to describe bilateral political interactions to figure out why workers often engage in hostile activities such as strikes. In doing so, I look at the contentious rather than the cooperative ?face? of unions.
union density
manufacturing growth
international relations
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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