Accounting for changes in unionization

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has published a short research note offering a comparative analysis of the decline in unionization among OECD countries.  Using Gosta Esping-Andersen's three worlds of welfare capitalism typology, John Schmitt and Alexandra Mitukiewicz find that the change in union coverage and union membership rates is strongly influenced by national political traditions (social democratic, Christian democratic or liberal market).  Intended to respond to facile arguments about inevitable union decline amidst the universal forces of 'globalization' and technological change, the note reveals a broad correlation between changes in unionization rates and welfare state type, without delving into the specific political and economic variables that might be responsible (e.g. changes to labour law, financial deregulation, degree of 'deindustrialization', etc).  A useful piece nonetheless, and an addition to CEPR's growing list of research studies on (predominantly US) unions.

Projects: