Title: A strategic model of enduring strikes
Other Titles: MSI Working Paper
Authors: Luyten, Adriaan
Issue Date: Dec-2014
Publisher: KU Leuven - Faculty of Economics and Business
Series Title: FEB Research Report - MSI_1420 vol:MSI_1420
Abstract: Over the past decades, rapidly changing circumstances have posed serious challenges to European trade unions. Faced with declining membership and increasing dependence on external funding, unions have sought new strategies to retain their in‡uence in economic decision making. In several western European countries, this resulted in increased institutionalization of unions combined with a rise in professionalism of union leadership. This evolution calls for a strategic approach in studies of strike occurrences, particularly when these strikes are targeted against the government. Nowadays, union leaders have a clear view of the government’s room for maneuver and its vulnerability to strikes. Therefore, an empirical study of
strikes against the government should take into account that the start of an enduring strike is a deliberate decision of forward-looking union leaders. In this paper,
we present a strategic model of trade union strikes against the government. Using the statistical backwards induction methodology developed by Bas, Signorino and Walker’s (2008), we estimate the determinants of unions’and government’s behav-
ior and payo¤s. We …nd that governments are more susceptible to pressure when their popularity is increasing and elections are near. In a strategic framework, this fi…nding is not irreconcilable with the observation that long-lasting con‡icts are more likely to occur under these speci…c circumstances.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IR
Appears in Collections:Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation (MSI), Leuven

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