Political Party Strength, Unionization Rates and Economic Growth in the United States

Amber Madden, Illinois State University


This paper uses data from U.S. states in order to empirically investigate the hypothesis that strong labor unions in the context of a Democratic government will produce sustained economic growth. Section II will give a brief overview of the literature within the context of labor unions and the political economy. Section III outlines the theoretical model. Sections IV and V give an overview of the empirical model to be estimated as well as information about the data and the necessary transformations needed. Section VI analyzes the empirical results and Section VII concludes the paper, discussing the limitations of the study as well as directions for further research.