Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Seeking a Premier EconomyThe Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Card, Richard Blundell, and Richard B. Freeman

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226092843

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226092904.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Surprising Retreat of Union Britain

The Surprising Retreat of Union Britain

(p.181) 5 The Surprising Retreat of Union Britain
Seeking a Premier Economy
John Pencavel
University of Chicago Press

Labor unions are an important component of a society's network of institutions that give individuals an opportunity to shape their environments and to promote mutual assistance. Collective bargaining can be a constructive force at the workplace to resolve problems that arise from the necessary incompleteness of labor contracts. An assessment of unionism in a society may be organized around three classes of questions: Do unions produce a better distribution of income in society? Do unions contribute to a more efficient society? And do unions enhance a society's “social capital”? This chapter examines the retreat of unionism in the United Kingdom, as illustrated by the drop in the fraction of workers who are union members. It describes the state of unionism in the 1960s and 1970s, arguing that, unlike in most other countries, British unionism was nurtured less by explicit statutory support and more by various indirect mechanisms. The chapter also discusses the impact of the change in economic policy on unionism, along with the government's posture toward labor strikes and the impact of unionism on labor productivity.

Keywords:   labor unions, United Kingdom, unionism, collective bargaining, labor strikes, labor productivity, economic policy, social capital

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.