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Changes in the Union Wage Premium by Industry

Author

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  • Bernt Bratsberg
  • James F. Ragan Jr.

Abstract

Relying on CPS data, the authors estimate the union wage premium—the amount by which wages of union workers exceeded those of nonunion workers in the same industry conditional on worker characteristics—for 32 industries over the period 1971–99. The dispersion of union premiums across industries narrowed over time as high premiums tended to fall and low premiums to rise. At the aggregate level, the premium drifted lower. When the authors model the union premium as a function of cyclical and structural variables and unmeasured industry characteristics, they find that Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) clauses reduced the responsiveness of the union premium to economic conditions and that increases in import penetration were strongly associated with rising union premiums. The effect of deregulation was mixed.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernt Bratsberg & James F. Ragan Jr., 2002. "Changes in the Union Wage Premium by Industry," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 65-83, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:56:y:2002:i:1:p:65-83
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Barry T. Hirsch, 2004. "Reconsidering Union Wage Effects: Surveying New Evidence on an Old Topic," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(2), pages 233-266, April.
    2. R. Alison Felix & James R. Hines, Jr., 2009. "Corporate Taxes and Union Wages in the United States," NBER Working Papers 15263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Ensar Yilmaz & Sayin San, 2017. "Wage gap and dispersion in a partially unionized structure in Turkey," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 577-597, March.
    5. John Schmitt, 2008. "The Union Wage Advantage for Low-Wage Workers," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-17, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    6. Cihan Bilginsoy, 2013. "Union Wage Gap in the U.S. Construction Sector: 1983–2007," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 677-701, July.
    7. Arijit Mukherjee, 2011. "Product market competition, external economies of scale and unionized wage," Discussion Papers 11/14, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
    8. Elisabetta Magnani & David Prentice, 2010. "Outsourcing And Unionization: A Tale Of Misallocated (Resistance) Resources," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(2), pages 460-482, April.
    9. Bernt Bratsberg & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2012. "Immigration and Wages: Evidence from Construction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(565), pages 1177-1205, December.
    10. Marco Pinto & Jochen Michaelis, 2014. "International Trade and Unemployment—the Worker-selection Effect," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 226-252, May.
    11. Blanchflower, David G. & Bryson, Alex, 2004. "The union wage premium in the US and the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19987, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Udo Kreickemeier & Frode Meland, 2017. "Non-Traded Goods, Globalization, and Union Influence," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade and Labor Markets Welfare, Inequality and Unemployment, chapter 7, pages 173-201, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. Barry T. Hirsch, 2012. "Unions, dynamism, and economic performance," Chapters, in: Cynthia L. Estlund & Michael L. Wachter (ed.),Research Handbook on the Economics of Labor and Employment Law, chapter 4, pages 107-145, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. De la Rica Goiricelaya, Sara & González de San Román Rosado, Ainara, 2007. "The Impact of Firm Level Contracting on Wage Levels and Inequality: Spain 1995-2002," DFAEII Working Papers 2007-07, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    15. Jan Askildsen & Øivind Nilsen, 2010. "Markup cyclicality and input factor adjustments," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 409-428, April.
    16. David G. Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2003. "What Effect do Unions Have on Wages Now and Would 'What Do Unions Do' Be Surprised?," NBER Working Papers 9973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Barry T. Hirsch & Edward J. Schumacher, 2001. "Private Sector Union Density and the Wage Premium: Past, Present, and Future ," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 22(3), pages 487-518, July.
    18. Helge Sanner, 2006. "Imperfect goods and labor markets, and the union wage gap," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(1), pages 119-136, February.
    19. Morin, Annaïg, 2017. "Cyclicality of wages and union power," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 1-22.

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