The incorporation of the extraneous element represented by unionism into wage theory, which has remained characterized by marginal analysis, is bound to give rise to difficulties.2 To what kind of analytical treatment is union behaviour to be submitted? What assumptions should be formulated about it? To what factors is it to be linked? At the present moment, two currents of thought can be discerned in English and American literature. The first, in its attempt to preserve a certain homogeneity of wage theory, tries to use the analytical apparatus created for the firm and puts forward a purely economic explanation of union behaviour, namely one based on the maximization of a certain monetary value. The other trend of thought considers the trade union as an essentially political body and stresses the irrationality of union behaviour, which is said to derive from the mechanism of arriving at decisions within the union organization.
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