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Journal Article

Rationalizing the Irrational: Making Sense of (In)consistency among Union Members and Non-Members


Hadziabdic,  Sinisa
Politische Ökonomie von Wachstumsmodellen, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Hadziabdic, S., & Frangi, L. (2022). Rationalizing the Irrational: Making Sense of (In)consistency among Union Members and Non-Members. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 28(2), 147-174. doi:10.1177/09596801211056836.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-831E-2
Focusing on 13 OECD countries over 25 years, we examine the factors that explain why a sizable fraction of wage-earners exhibit an inconsistency between their union membership status and their confidence in unions by being either confident non-members or non-confident members. While structural factors associated with joining constraints generate inconsistency in specific labour market categories, wage-earners who have extreme ideological orientations and are highly interested in politics are much less likely to exhibit inconsistency across time and countries. For individuals who have intermediate ideological orientations and are not very interested in politics, differences in terms of non-member and member inconsistency between countries are explainable through contextual variables such as economic conditions, the level of employment protection, and historical legacies. Implications for union membership research and union strategies are discussed.