December 2016

IZA DP No. 10438: Men, Women and Unions

The paper re-examines the question of why unions might have declined despite the 'influx' of women, their risk-averse constituents, into British workplaces. It argues that given unions' role in minimising risk, membership should have been boosted. The paper reviews different strands of the literature and conducts empirical analyses using panel data from WERS. The results obtained suggest that men have been deserting unions and that there is an inverse link between membership and the share of women in workplaces. The paper ponders if better management of gender relations may improve unions' fate.