A Re-Interpretation of Pattern Bargaining
INDUSTRIAL AND LABOR RELATIONS REVIEW, July 1996
Posted: 19 Jun 1998
Most recent studies investigating pattern bargaining have sought to establish its presence or absence by statistically comparing summary measures of wage levels or growth rates across and within industries. The author of this study argues that a better measure of the existence of pattern bargaining over wages is the degree of similarity of collective bargaining contract clauses--the usual focus of negotiators when they engage in pattern-following. Using that criterion, he analyzes UAW and IAM collective bargaining agreements in the automobile, aerospace, and agricultural implement industries for the years 1970-95. He finds evidence that a strong wage pattern existed at both the inter- and intra- industry levels in the 1970s, but that this pattern weakened in the 1980s. Among the major automobile industry bargaining pairs, however, a strong intra-industry pattern returned in the late 1980s.
JEL Classification: J31, J51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation