Bryson, Alex and Gomez, Rafael
Why have workers stopped joining unions? Accounting for the rise in never-membership in Britain.
British journal of industrial relations, 43
This paper tracks the rise in the percentage of employees who have never become union members (‘never-members’) since the early 1980s and shows that it is the reduced likelihood of ever becoming a member rather than the haemorrhaging of existing members which is behind the decline in overall union membership in Britain. We estimate the determinants of ‘never-membership’ and consider how much of the rise can be explained by structural change in the labour market and how much by change in preferences among employees. We find a similar trend in the unionised sector, indicating that the rise in never membership for the economy as a whole is not linked solely to a decline in the number of recognised workplaces.
||This is an electronic version of an Article published in the British Journal of Industrial Relations 43(1) pp. 67-92 ©  Blackwell Publishing. Articles available via LSE Research Articles Online are protected under intellectual property law, including copyright law. Any use made of the contents should comply with the relevant law.
||Union membership JEL classification codes : J31, J50, J51
|Library of Congress subject classification:
||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
|Journal of Economic Literature Classification System:
||J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining > J51 - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials by Skill, Training, Occupation, etc.
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining > J50 - General
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