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Title:A Micro-Level Study of Strikes During Contract Negotiations: Determinants and Effects on Wage Changes
Author(s):Gramm, Cynthia Louise
Department / Program:Labor and Industrial Relations
Discipline:Labor and Industrial Relations
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Abstract:Two distinct tasks are undertaken in this dissertation. First, a model of strike determination during the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement is developed and tested. The theoretical contribution of this model is its explicit analysis in a choice theoretic framework of the factors underlying both the union's and the employer's willingness to risk a strike. Hypotheses generated by the model are tested using pooled time series, cross-sectional data on individual contract negotiations by bargaining units in U.S. manufacturing industries to test the empirical model. The study is the first to use micro-level measures of strike duration and worker-days-idled as well as the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a strike as dependent variables. The model is estimated using tobit analysis for the former two variables and probit analysis for the latter.
Second, the strike-nonstrike wage change differential is estimated using the ordinary least squares estimator and bargaining unit level measures of both strike action during the negotiation and the resulting wage change. In addition, the strike-nonstrike wage change differential is decomposed into the portion attributable to endowments and the portion attributable to the behavior of striking.
Several important findings emerge from the analyses. First, the likelihood that a strike will occur and its severity are positively related to the percent of union workers in the bargaining unit's industry who are male and to local union density, and inversely related to wage changes over the term of the previous agreement and the industry coefficient of variation in shipments, ceteris paribus. Second, evidence from this study fails to support the contention that the availability of welfare for strikers increases either the probability or severity of strikes.
Finally, the results suggest that strikers, at best, enjoy a very slight advantage with respect to negotiated wage changes. The estimated differential in annualized percentage wage increases attributable to striking is under 1%. Moreover, short strikes actually appear to place strikers at a disadvantage. These results indicate that there is little basis for alarm concerning the inflationary impact of strikes.
Issue Date:1983
Description:174 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8409934
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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