NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Product Market Competition, Union Organizing Activity, and Employer Resistence

John M. Abowd, Henry S. Farber

NBER Working Paper No. 3353
Issued in May 1990
NBER Program(s):   LS

We develop and estimate a model of the union's optimal extent of

organizing activity that accounts for the decision of employers regarding

resistance to union organizing. The central exogenous variable in the

analysis is the quantity of quasi-rents per worker available to be split

between unions and employers.

We measure available quasi-rents per worker as the difference per

worker between total industry revenues net of raw materials costs and labor

costs evaluated at the opportunity cost of the workers. Using two-digit

industry level data for thirty-five U.S. industries for the period 1955

through 1986, we find that both organizing activity and employer resistance

to unionization are positively related to available quasi-rents per worker.

However, there is still a strong negative trend in union organizing activity

and a strong positive trend in employer resistance after controlling for

quasi-rents per worker. Thus, the explanation for the decline in union

organizing activity and the increase in employer resistance to unionization

since the mid 1970's lies elsewhere.

download in pdf format
   (340 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (340 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3353

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us