UK Unionism and Innovative Activity: Some Cautionary Remarks on the Basis of a Simple Cross-Country Test

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This paper offers a preliminary investigation of union impact on investment in intangible capital. We first report evidence on the raw correlation between union membership density and RD intensity. This suggests that higher union density is associated with increased innovative activity among an important subset of British industry. Attention then shifts to a consideration of whether the `stylized facts' are indicative of a causal relation or are instead an artefact produced by the concentration of unions in those sectors evincing greater scope for RD. We offer a simple cross-country test in which German RD outlays serve as the benchmark or comparator. No support is adduced for the notion that unions cause higher RD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Relations
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.1994