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Risk Preferences and Gender Differences in Union Membership in Late Nineteenth-Century Swedish Manufacturing

Karlsson, Tobias LU and Stanfors, Maria LU (2018) In Feminist Economics 24(1). p.114-141
Abstract
Women are generally seen as less inclined to join trade unions. This study matches firm–worker data from the Swedish cigar and printing industries around 1900 and examines information on men and women holding the same jobs; such data are rare but important for understanding gender gaps. The results explain the gender gap in union membership among compositors, but not among cigar workers. Differences in union membership varied considerably across firms, with the largest differences found in low-union-density cigar firms where indirect costs (that is, uncertainty and risk) accrued in particular to women workers. The lack of gender differences in mutual aid membership indicates that women were not hard to organize but avoided organizations... (More)
Women are generally seen as less inclined to join trade unions. This study matches firm–worker data from the Swedish cigar and printing industries around 1900 and examines information on men and women holding the same jobs; such data are rare but important for understanding gender gaps. The results explain the gender gap in union membership among compositors, but not among cigar workers. Differences in union membership varied considerably across firms, with the largest differences found in low-union-density cigar firms where indirect costs (that is, uncertainty and risk) accrued in particular to women workers. The lack of gender differences in mutual aid membership indicates that women were not hard to organize but avoided organizations associated with greater risk for employer retaliation and uncertain returns according to a cost–benefit analysis. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
gender, union membership, manufacturing industry, firm-level data, working conditions, workers’ rights, J16, J51, J83
in
Feminist Economics
volume
24
issue
1
pages
28 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85034223324
DOI
10.1080/13545701.2017.1390321
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7346b556-71a1-4e19-aae2-beb61c8455f4
date added to LUP
2017-11-17 14:37:31
date last changed
2018-01-07 12:26:00
@article{7346b556-71a1-4e19-aae2-beb61c8455f4,
  abstract     = {Women are generally seen as less inclined to join trade unions. This study matches firm–worker data from the Swedish cigar and printing industries around 1900 and examines information on men and women holding the same jobs; such data are rare but important for understanding gender gaps. The results explain the gender gap in union membership among compositors, but not among cigar workers. Differences in union membership varied considerably across firms, with the largest differences found in low-union-density cigar firms where indirect costs (that is, uncertainty and risk) accrued in particular to women workers. The lack of gender differences in mutual aid membership indicates that women were not hard to organize but avoided organizations associated with greater risk for employer retaliation and uncertain returns according to a cost–benefit analysis.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Tobias and Stanfors, Maria},
  keyword      = {gender,union membership,manufacturing industry,firm-level data,working conditions,workers’ rights,J16,J51,J83},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {114--141},
  series       = {Feminist Economics},
  title        = {Risk Preferences and Gender Differences in Union Membership in Late Nineteenth-Century Swedish Manufacturing},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13545701.2017.1390321},
  volume       = {24},
  year         = {2018},
}