Union-Nonunion Wage Differentials and Macroeconomic Activity
AbstractThis research is concerned with identifying the differing responses of union and nonunion wages to shocks to real output growth, inflation, and the stance of monetary policy. Aggregate measures of union and nonunion wages and salaries are used to construct a time series of the wage differential for several major industrial sectors over the 1976-2001 period. The literature documents the existence of a union wage premium; however, previously the focus has primarily been at the micro-level, and on whether or not a union worker receives greater compensation than an otherwise comparable nonunion worker [e.g., Wunnava and Ewing (1999, 2000)]. Research also links the wage differential to the stage of the business cycle [Wunnava and Okunade 1996] and to the industrial sector [Okunade, Wunnava, and Robinson (1992)]. Theoretical macroeconomic models imply that wages will respond in certain ways to unanticipated changes in aggregate measures of economic activity [e.g., Romer (1996)]. Given the differences in compensation level of union and nonunion workers, and the link to the stage of the business cycle and industry, it is expected that the aggregate wage differentials both for the entire private sector and by industry will respond to macroeconomic shocks in a predictable manner. The relationship among these wage differentials and the macroeconomy is examined in the context of a vector autoregression. In addition, the paper employs the newly developed technique of generalized impulse response analysis [Koop, et al. (1996), Pesaran and Shin (1998)], a method that does not impose a priori restrictions on the relative importance that each of the macroeconomic variables may play in the transmission process. The results show the extent and the magnitude of the relationship between the union-nonunion wage differentials and several key macroeconomic factors. Finally, the paper documents how the responses of these wage differentials vary by industrial sector.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0231.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2002
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-07-31 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2002-07-31 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2002-07-31 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Strongin, Steven, 1995. "The identification of monetary policy disturbances explaining the liquidity puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 463-497, June.
- Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
- Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1992.
"The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transmission,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 901-21, September.
- Ben S. Bernanke & Alan S. Blinder, 1989. "The federal funds rate and the channels of monetary transmission," Working Papers 89-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Ben Bernanke, 1990. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transnission," NBER Working Papers 3487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wachter, Michael L, 1986. "Union Wage Rigidity: The Default Settings of Labor Law," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 240-44, May.
- Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 437-42, October.
- Park, Kwangwoo & Ratti, Ronald A, 2000. "Real Activity, Inflation, Stock Returns, and Monetary Policy," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 59-77, May.
- David Neumark & Michael L. Wachter, 1995. "Union effects on nonunion wages: Evidence from panel data on industries and cities," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(1), pages 20-38, October.
- Pesaran, H. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 1998.
"Generalized impulse response analysis in linear multivariate models,"
Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-29, January.
- Pesaran, M. H. & Shin, Y., 1997. "Generalised Impulse Response Analysis in Linear Multivariate Models," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9710, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Peter C.B. Phillips & Pierre Perron, 1986.
"Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series Regression,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
795R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Sep 1987.
- Phillips, P.C.B., 1986. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series Regression," Cahiers de recherche 8633, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Tom Doan, . "PPUNIT: RATS procedure to perform Phillips-Perron Unit Root test," Statistical Software Components RTS00160, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Willem Thorbecke, 1998.
"On Stock Market Returns and Monetary Policy,"
- Koop, Gary & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Potter, Simon M., 1996. "Impulse response analysis in nonlinear multivariate models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 119-147, September.
- Rees, Albert, 1989. "The Economics of Trade Unions," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226707105.
- Okunade, Albert Ade. & Wunnava, Phanindra V. & Robinson, Michael D., 1992. "Union-nonunion compensation differentials and industry structure," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 329-337, July.
- David E. Runkle, 1987. "Vector autoregressions and reality," Staff Report 107, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Ewing, Bradley T., 2001. "Cross-Effects of Fundamental State Variables," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 633-645, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vijaya Wunnava).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.