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The Changing Size Distribution of U.S. Trade Unions and Its Description by Pareto's Distribution

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  • Pencavel, John

    ()
    (Stanford University)

Abstract

The size distribution of trade unions in the United States and changes in this distribution are documented. Because the most profound changes are taking place among very large unions, these are subject to special analysis by invoking Pareto's distribution. This represents a new application of this distribution. Extensions to trade union wealth and to Britain are broached. The role of the public sector in these changes receives particular attention. A simple model helps account both for the logarithmic distribution of union membership and for the contrasting experiences of public and private sector unions since the 1970s.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7232.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7232

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Keywords: trade union membership; public-sector unions; Pareto's distribution;

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  1. Chipman, John S., 1974. "The welfare ranking of Pareto distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 275-282, November.
  2. Gary N. Chaison, 1980. "A note on union merger trends, 1900û1978," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(1), pages 114-120, October.
  3. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, 05.
  4. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2011. "Rank - 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39, January.
  5. Berndt, Ernst R & Christensen, Laurits R, 1974. "Testing for the Existence of a Consistent Aggregate Index of Labor Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 391-404, June.
  6. Fujiwara, Yoshi & Di Guilmi, Corrado & Aoyama, Hideaki & Gallegati, Mauro & Souma, Wataru, 2004. "Do Pareto–Zipf and Gibrat laws hold true? An analysis with European firms," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 335(1), pages 197-216.
  7. Rees, Albert, 1989. "The Economics of Trade Unions," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226707105, April.
  8. Rosen, Kenneth T. & Resnick, Mitchel, 1980. "The size distribution of cities: An examination of the Pareto law and primacy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 165-186, September.
  9. Reder, Melvin W, 1988. "The Rise and Fall of Unions: The Public Sector and the Private," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 89-110, Spring.
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