Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 131–142 | Cite as

Male-female differences in the potential for union growth outside traditionally unionized industries

  • Duane E. Leigh
  • Stephen M. Hills


Using recent NLS data on preferences for union representation, this paper examines whether differences by sex exist in the potential for union organizing outside of traditionally unionized industries. The methodology distinguishes between workers’ preferences for union representation and the relative supply of union jobs in explaining interindustry differences in the extent of unionization. Within the private sector, women employed in industries other than those traditionally unionized are found to have at least as strong a preference for unionization as do comparable men but a considerably lower opportunity for unionized employment given the desire for union representation. Comparing the public sector with traditionally organized industries, the greater extent of unionization in the public sector is largely explained by a stronger desire for union representation on the part of both male and female public sector employees.


Public Sector Union Representation Union Membership National Longitudinal Survey Labor Relation Review 
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Copyright information

© Journal of Labor Research 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duane E. Leigh
    • 1
  • Stephen M. Hills
    • 2
  1. 1.Washington State UniversityPullman
  2. 2.Ohio State UniversityColumbus

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