This paper applies principles from evolutionary biology to the study
of unions. We show that unions that implement the preferred wage
and organizing policies of workers will be displaced in evolutionary
competition by unions that either extract less from firms, allowing
them to live longer, or spend more on union organizing, or both.
This implies that unions with constitutional incumbency advantages
that allow leaders to depart from members' preferences may have a
selective advantage, allowing them to grow at the expense of unions
lacking such provisions. Evidence from the history of American
unions supports these predictions. (JEL A12, J51)
"A Biological Model of Unions."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects