This setting lets you change the way you view articles. You can choose to have articles open in a dialog window, a new tab, or directly in the same window.
Open in Dialog
Open in New Tab
Open in same window

Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 2 No. 2 (Spring 1988)


Quick Tools:

Print Article Summary
Export Citation
Sign up for Email Alerts Follow us on Twitter


JEP - All Issues

The Rise and Fall of Unions: The Public Sector and the Private

Article Citation

Reder, Melvin W. 1988. "The Rise and Fall of Unions: The Public Sector and the Private." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2(2): 89-110.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.2.2.89


This paper has a single purpose: to explain why unionism (interpreted as percentage of union adherents among eligible employees) has been declining in the private sector for the past 30 to 35 years, but, for most of this period, has been increasing in the public sector. To provide this explanation, I offer an ad hoc theory. For the private sector, the paper tries to account for differences in the trends of union adherence during five "epochs": before 1917; 1917 to 1920; 1920 to 1933; 1933 to the early 1950s; and since the early 1950s. In the public sector, two epochs are distinguished: before and after 1960. Finally, I distinguish between the public and private sectors since 1960.

Article Full-Text Access

Full-text Article (Complimentary)


Reder, Melvin W. (Unlisted)

JEL Classifications

831: Trade Unions


View Comments on This Article (0) | Login to post a comment

Journal of Economic Perspectives

Quick Tools:

Sign up for Email Alerts

Follow us on Twitter

Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)


JEP - All Issues

Virtual Field Journals

AEA Member Login:

AEAweb | AEA Journals | Contact Us