Elgar original reference
Edited by John T. Addison and Claus Schnabel
John T. Addison and Claus Schnabel This Handbook seeks to give the reader a sense of the drama in the everyday workings of modern labour markets. There is no better illustration of this than the situation confronted by the trade union. Unions have been buﬀeted by competitive pressures more than most other institutions. At one level – where unions are combinations in restraint of trade – this result is neither surprising nor unwelcome. But unions are more than this. The twin aims of this volume are to demonstrate the various facets of unionism and thence to address the consequences of what it is that unions do. It is then left up to the reader to form a judgement on the institution and to assess to the seriousness of union decline (or indeed otherwise) in his or her country. Necessarily, the contributors to this volume do not share a common view of the union institution or indeed its fate. Although trade unions have long been important economic and political actors in industrialized countries, academic interest in them has been thin historically. This was especially true of the economics discipline. As late as 1975, in his short survey of the economic analysis of the union institution, Johnson (1975, p. 23) stated that ‘[t]he study of the behavior and eﬀects of trade unions is not currently one of the major growth industries of the economics profession’. And yet, after surveying the union literature in the mid1980s, Oswald (1985), Farber (1986) and Hirsch...