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The Effect of Unions on the Structure of Wages: A Longitudinal Analysis


  • Card, David


This paper studies the effects of unions on the structure of wages using an estimation technique that accounts for misclassification errors in reported union status and potential correlations between union status and unobserved productivity. The model is estimated separately for five skill groups using a panel data set formed from the U.S. Current Population Survey. The results suggest that unions raise wages more for workers with lower levels of observed skills. Union workers are positively selected from the population of workers with lower levels of observed skill and negatively selected from the population with higher observed skills. Copyright 1996 by The Econometric Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Card, David, 1996. "The Effect of Unions on the Structure of Wages: A Longitudinal Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 957-979, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:64:y:1996:i:4:p:957-79

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Freeman, Richard B, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-26, January.
    2. Mellow, Wesley & Sider, Hal, 1983. "Accuracy of Response in Labor Market Surveys: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 331-344, October.
    3. Gary Chamberlain, 1982. "Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 0913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. George E. Johnson & Kenwood C. Youmans, 1971. "Union Relative Wage Effects by Age and Education," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 24(2), pages 171-179, January.
    5. Richard B. Freeman, 1980. "Unionism and the Dispersion of Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(1), pages 3-23, October.
    6. John M. Abowd & Henry S. Farber, 1982. "Job Queues and the Union Status of Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 354-367, April.
    7. Robinson, Chris, 1989. "The Joint Determination of Union Status and Union Wage Effects: Some Tests of Alternative Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 639-667, June.
    8. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1978. "Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 415-433, June.
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