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CEP discussion paper

The Economic Effects of Multiple Unionism: Evidence from the 1984 Workplace Industrial Relations Survey


This paper uses establishment-level data from the 1984 workplace Industrial Relations Survey to investigate the relationship between the presence of multiple recognised unions and wages, financial performance and the incidence of industrial action. Where multiple unions are present, it is found to be important to distinguish between whether they bargain separately or jointly, and the most important effects are isolated where separate bargains occur. The results suggest that plants with multi-unionism and separate bargaining arrangements pay higher wages, have lower financial performance and are more prone to strike action lasting at least one day.


Stephen Machin, M Stewart and John Van Reenen

February 1992     Paper Number CEPDP0066