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The Rise and Fall of Unions in the United States

Union membership displayed an inverted-U-shaped pattern over the 20th century, while the distribution of income sketched a U. A model of unions is developed to analyze these phenomena. There is a distribution of firms in economy. Firms hire capital, plus skilled and unskilled labor. Unionization is a costly process. A union decides how many firms to organize and its members' wage rate. Simulation of the developed model establishes that skilled-biased technological change, which affects the productivity of skilled labor relative to unskilled labor, can potentially explain the observed paths for union membership and income inequality. Journal of Monetary Economics, 2016

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Paper provided by Economie d'Avant Garde in its series Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports with number 19.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:19
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