24
Corporatism, Union Density, and Economic Growth

Consider now the effects of union density on economic growth. I have data on-union density for sixteen OECD countries from 1970 through 1985, taken from D'Agostino ( 1992).10 I use four time periods per country, 1971-5, 1976-80, 1981-5 and 1986-8. In each case I use the union density figure from the year before the beginning of the period ( 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985) to lessen the possibility of simultaneity bias.

Again, rather than using variables that are author-created indices or that are ill-suited to linear regression analysis (index of labour organization, number of left cabinet portfolios), I simply use a dummy variable that equals 1.0 for the eight countries in the D'Agostino sample that are labelled corporatist by Crouch ( 1985). These countries are: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. The rest (non-corporatist part) of the sample countries are: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA. In Table 24.1, I first investigate whether there is any general effect of union density on growth, then turn to the Cameron-Crouch model.

Equations 1 and 2 in Table 24.1 test for the existence of a simple relationship between union density and economic growth. There are four observations on each of the sixteen countries for a total of sixty-four data points. The results show that there is no significant linear or non-linear effect of union density on real GDP growth in these countries. The other variables continue to have the same general magnitudes and significance levels as in the full 192-observation sample used in Tables 22.1 and 23.1.

Equation 3 in Table 24.1 is my test of the Cameron-Crouch hypothesis that corporatist governments and higher union

____________________
10
The data come from Table 2.10 on page 48. D'Agostino reports two sets of figures for Sweden. I use the average of the two.

-168-

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