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An Anatomy of Public Sector Unions

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  • Hirsch, Barry

    ()
    (Georgia State University)

Abstract

Public sector unionism grew rapidly during the late 1960s and early 1970s following the passage of state collective bargaining laws. During the last thirty years, public sector membership has grown at roughly the same rate as the overall workforce. This paper provides a descriptive overview of union membership growth and economy-wide employment shares in the U.S. federal (non-postal), Postal Service, state, and local government sectors. More limited evidence is provided on changes in relative public/private and union/nonunion wages. Observations are provided on the current debates regarding public/private pay and the role of public sector unions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7313.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7313

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Keywords: union membership; public sector unions; public sector pay; employment;

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References

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  1. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2009. "The Liabilities and Risks of State-Sponsored Pension Plans," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 191-210, Fall.
  2. Freeman, Richard B, 1986. "Unionism Comes to the Public Sector," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 41-86, March.
  3. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
  4. Barry T. Hirsch, 2008. "Sluggish Institutions in a Dynamic World: Can Unions and Industrial Competition Coexist?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 153-176, Winter.
  5. Maury Gittleman & Brooks Pierce, 2012. "Compensation for State and Local Government Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 217-42, Winter.
  6. Bollinger, Christopher R. & Hirsch, Barry, 2005. "Match Bias from Earnings Imputation in the Current Population Survey: The Case of Imperfect Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 1846, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Barry T. Hirsch & Edward J. Schumacher, 2004. "Match Bias in Wage Gap Estimates Due to Earnings Imputation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 689-722, July.
  8. Richard B. Freeman & Casey Ichniowski, 1988. "When Public Sector Workers Unionize," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free88-1, May.
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