PUBLIC POLICY AND PUBLIC SECTOR STRIKES: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
DANE M. PARTRIDGE
AbstractDespite prohibition in most states, public sector strike activity increased substantially during the 1960s and 1970s. This article reviews the empirical literature concerning the extent to which public policy, such as collective bargaining provisions, strike prohibitions, and impasse resolution procedures, affects strike activity in the public sector. Two conclusions seem warranted. First, many of the studies have serious methodological flaws in that they attempt to evaluate the effects of public policy on strike activity without adequately controlling for nonpolicy factors that may also affect strike activity. Second, there is some evidence, limited either by the number of states or employee functions included in the studies, that consistently enforced strike penalties and binding impasse resolution procedures each have a negative effect on strike activity.
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