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Bargaining Power, Strike Durations, and Wage Outcomes: An Analysis of Strikes in the 1880s.



Strike outcomes in the 1880s had a 'winner-take-all' character. Successful strikes ended with a discrete wage gain; failed strikes ended with a return to work at the prestrike wage. The authors present a theoretical interpretation of these outcomes based on a war-of-attrition model. They fit an empirical model specifying the capitulation times of the two parties and the size of the wage gain in the event of a strike success. The results show a systematic relation between the determinants of strike success and the determinants of the wage gain for a successful strike. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.

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