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Unions and the Sword of Justice: Unions and Pay Systems, Pay Inequality, Pay Discrimination and Low Pay

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  • David Metcalf
  • Kirstine Hansen
  • Andy Charlwood

    (Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics)

Abstract

Dispersion in pay is lower among union members than among non-unionists. This reflects two factors. First, union members and jobs are more homogeneous than their non-union counterparts. Second, union wage policies within and across firms lower pay dispersion. Unions’ minimum wage targets also truncate the lower tail of the union distribution. There are two major consequences of these egalitarian union wage policies. First, the return to human capital is lower in firms which recognise unions than in the unorganised sector. Second, unions compress the wage structure by gender, race and occupation.

Suggested Citation

  • David Metcalf & Kirstine Hansen & Andy Charlwood, 2001. "Unions and the Sword of Justice: Unions and Pay Systems, Pay Inequality, Pay Discrimination and Low Pay," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 176(1), pages 61-75, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:niesru:v:176:y:2001:i:1:p:61-75
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:indrel:v:48:y:2017:i:1:p:42-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Veliziotis, Michail, 2010. "Trade unions and unpaid overtime in Britain," ISER Working Paper Series 2010-43, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Haile, Getinet & Bryson, Alex & White, Michael, 2015. "Spillover effects of unionisation on non-members' wellbeing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 108-122.
    4. Marsden, David, 2010. "The end of national models in employment relations?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48913, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. David Blanchflower & Alex Bryson, 2004. "The Union Wage Premium in the US and the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0612, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. Jean-Baptiste Combes & Eric Delattre & Bob Elliott & Diane Skåtun, 2015. "Hospital staffing and local pay: an investigation into the impact of local variations in the competitiveness of nurses’ pay on the staffing of hospitals in France," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(7), pages 763-780, September.
    7. John M. Krieg & Charles S. Wassell Jr. & David W. Hedrick & Steven E. Henson, 2013. "Collective Bargaining and Faculty Job Satisfaction," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 619-644, July.
    8. Alex Bryson & P Willman, 2007. "Union Organization in Great Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0774, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Alex Bryson & Richard Freeman & Rafael Gomez & Paul Willman, 2017. "The Twin Track Model of Employee Voice: An Anglo-American Perspective on Union Decline and the Rise of Alternative Forms of Voice," DoQSS Working Papers 17-13, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    10. Damian Grimshaw & Gerhard Bosch & Jill Rubery, 2014. "Minimum Wages and Collective Bargaining: What Types of Pay Bargaining Can Foster Positive Pay Equity Outcomes?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 52(3), pages 470-498, September.
    11. Susan Hayter, 2015. "Unions and collective bargaining," Chapters,in: Labour Markets, Institutions and Inequality, chapter 4, pages 95-122 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Töngür, Ünal & Elveren, Adem Yavuz, 2014. "Deunionization and pay inequality in OECD Countries: A panel Granger causality approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 417-425.
    13. Bryson, Alex, 2002. "The union membership wage premium: an analysis using propensity score matching," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4953, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Daniele Checchi & Jelle Visser & Herman G. van de Werfhorst, 2010. "Inequality and Union Membership: The Influence of Relative Earnings and Inequality Attitudes," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(1), pages 84-108, March.
    15. James Arrowsmith & Paul Marginson, 2011. "Variable Pay and Collective Bargaining in British Retail Banking," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 49(1), pages 54-79, March.
    16. Basak Kus, 2012. "Financialisation and Income Inequality in OECD Nations:1995-2007," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 43(4), pages 477-495.

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