As Neil Munro points out, the cases where incoming Obama economist Alan Krueger agrees with Democratic orthodoxy–the cases the Republican National Committee is emphasizing–aren’t as intriguing as the instances where he’s disagreed. My favorite so far is this1992 paper on unionism, which reviews surveys of union and non-union workers and concludes that the decline in union membership between 1977 and 1991 resulted from a “decline in demand for unionization” especially a decline in the percentage of nonunion workers who “would vote for union representation.” And why the decline in demand?
Our brief analysis suggests that nonunion workers are more likely to report being satisfied with their jobs in 1984 and 1992 than in 1977. … Another possibility is that … the services unions provide are no longer perceived as valuable by nonunion workers …. [E.A.]
Now I’m confused. Ezra Klein assured me it was all due to heavy-handed and illegal tactics by union-busting employers. … P.S.:
Since then, of course, much-publicized private-sector union organizing efforts have reversed this trend. You could probably write the same paper today. …