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Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach

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  • DiNardo, John
  • Fortin, Nicole M
  • Lemieux, Thomas

Abstract

This paper provides evidence that the decline in the real value of the minimum wage and in the rate of unionization account for a significant share of the increase in wage inequality in the United States between 1979 and 1988. The role of the minimum wage is particularly important for women, while deunionization has the largest impact on men. The authors develop a semiparametric procedure that applies kernel density methods to appropriately weighted samples. The procedure provides a visually clear representation of where in the density of wages institutional and labor market forces exert the greatest impact. Copyright 1996 by The Econometric Society.

Suggested Citation

  • DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:64:y:1996:i:5:p:1001-44
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    1. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    2. Richard B. Freeman, 1980. "Unionism and the Dispersion of Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(1), pages 3-23, October.
    3. Richard B. Freeman & Karen Needels, 1993. "Skill Differentials in Canada in an Era of Rising Labor Market Inequality," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 45-68, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Richard B. Freeman & Casey Ichniowski, 1988. "When Public Sector Workers Unionize," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free88-1, January-J.
    5. Freeman, Richard B. & Ichniowski, Casey (ed.), 1988. "When Public Sector Workers Unionize," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226261669, December.
    6. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 1993. "Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number card93-1, January-J.
    7. S. Rosen, 1969. "Trade Union Power, Threat Effects and the Extent of Organization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 185-196.
    8. 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.
    9. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    10. Katz, Lawrence F. & Revenga, Ana L., 1989. "Changes in the structure of wages: The United States vs Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 522-553, December.
    11. Richard B. Freeman & Casey Ichniowski & Jeffrey Zax, 1988. "Appendix A: Collective Organization of Labor in the Public Sector," NBER Chapters, in: When Public Sector Workers Unionize, pages 365-398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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