Labor Unions, Political Representation, and Economic Inequality

Posted: 15 May 2017

See all articles by John Ahlquist

John Ahlquist

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: May 2017

Abstract

Decades of research across several disciplines have produced substantial evidence that labor unions, on balance, reduce economic disparities. But unions are complicated, multifaceted organizations straddling markets and politics. Much of their equality-promoting influence occurs through their ability to reduce class-based inequity in politics and public policy. Declining unionization across much of the developed world is eroding workers’ bargaining power. Reduced economic leverage puts pressure on union solidarity and weakens labor-based political movements. Important research design problems and significant heterogeneity across unions, regions, countries, and time imply a continued need for more work.

Suggested Citation

Ahlquist, John, Labor Unions, Political Representation, and Economic Inequality (May 2017). Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 20, pp. 409-432, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2968075 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-polisci-051215-023225

John Ahlquist (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

Do you want regular updates from SSRN on Twitter?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
365
PlumX Metrics