Financialization and the Decline of Organized Labor: A Study of 18 Advanced Capitalist Countries, 1970 to 2012

Christopher Kollmeyer (Corresponding Author), John Peterson (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Is financialization contributing to the slow decline of union density that is occurring across most advanced capitalist countries? Combining insights from literatures on financialization, corporate governance, and comparative political economy, we argue that the growing dominance of finance within advanced capitalism weakens unions through several channels, and plays an important but underappreciated role in the deunionization of national workforces. Using data from 18 advanced capitalist countries over several decades, this assertion is tested against the literature’s existing explanations for declining union density. Results from panel regression models suggest that financialization is an important cause of union decline, but that its particular effects vary between different types of advanced capitalism. The study concludes by arguing that financialization creates new interconnections between firms and finance capital, resulting in business practices that ultimately put downward pressure on union densities across advanced capitalist countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalSocial Forces
Volume98
Issue number1
Early online date22 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • UNION DECLINE
  • SHAREHOLDER VALUE
  • OECD COUNTRIES
  • US ECONOMY
  • GLOBALIZATION
  • TRANSFORMATION
  • INSTITUTIONS
  • UNIONIZATION
  • LAYOFFS
  • FINANCE

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