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The Union Wage Advantage for Low-Wage Workers

Author

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  • John Schmitt

Abstract

This report uses national data from 2003 to 2007 to show that unionization raises the wages of the typical low-wage worker (one in the 10th percentile) by 20.6 percent compared to 13.7 percent for the typical medium wage worker (one in the 50th percentile), 6.1 percent for the typical high-wage worker (one in the 90th percentile). The paper also produces results for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Throughout the states, a similar pattern holds, with unionization raising the wages of the lowest-wage workers the most.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2008-17
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    File URL: http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/quantile_2008_05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Peter D. Linneman & Michael L. Wachter & William H. Carter, 1990. "Evaluating the Evidence on Union Employment and Wages," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 34-53, October.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Marco Manacorda, 2004. "Can the Scala Mobile Explain the Fall and Rise of Earnings Inequality in Italy? A Semiparametric Analysis, 19771993," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 585-614, July.
    7. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731.
    8. John Schmitt, 2008. "Unions and Upward Mobility for Latino Workers," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-28, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John Schmitt & Hye Jin Rho, 2008. "The Reagan Question: Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Eight Years Ago?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-27, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    2. Edison Roy César & François Vaillancourt, 2010. "Does a Specific Union Impact on Wage Increases? Evidence from Canada, 1985-2007," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-09, CIRANO.
    3. John Schmitt, 2009. "Unions and Upward Mobility for Service-Sector Workers," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2009-14, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    4. Jeffrey Thompson & John Schmitt, 2010. "The Wage Penalty for State and Local Government Employees in New England," Working Papers wp233, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    5. Dean Baker, 2008. "The Key to Stabilizing House Prices: Bring Them Down," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-32, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unions; wages; benefits; pension;

    JEL classification:

    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J88 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Public Policy

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