2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Looking at the Economic and Political Forces Behind Right-to-Work: A Public Choice Analysis

Isaac G. Hampton
Dr. David Gillette, Faculty Mentor

For the past thirty years, the United States has seen both a decline in unionization and a rise in Right-to-Work legislation, legislation that bans union security agreements between unions and employers. Public Choice Theory assumes that politics and economics are not so different. Markets exist in politics, and the actors who operate in them make decisions based on their perceived costs and benefits. As a tool, Public Choice Theory neither praises nor condemns people and political systems, rather it observes them in order to learn from them. Its insights are used to incentivize better outcomes. This paper explores the economic costs and benefits of labor unions, who act as a special interest group in the political market at all levels, as well as the economic and political forces driving the increase in Right-to-Work legislation from the standpoint of Public Choice Economics.


Keywords: Public Choice Economics, Right-to-Work, Labor Unions


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 310-3
Location: MC 211
Time: 2:00

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