The decreases in the number of strikes in the UK during the 1980s has revived the discussion of the explanatory factors of strike frequency. This paper investigates explanations for the variations of strike frequency in British manufacturing. The framework used is that of the joint cost model; strike frequency is inversely related to strike costs. The results from a panel of 90 manufacturing industries for the period 1983-88 show some support for the hypothesis that strikes decreased because they became more expensive. In the main we find that factors which affect both employers and employees (such as revenue, inventories) are significant in explaining variations in strike frequency. Factors which affect only employees, however, such as the unemployment rate, are not
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