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The Impact of Deunionisation on Earnings Dispersion Revisited

  • Addison, John T.

    ()

    (University of South Carolina)

  • Bailey, Ralph

    ()

    (University of Birmingham)

  • Siebert, W. Stanley

    ()

    (University of Birmingham)

This paper examines the effects of union decline in Britain on changes in earnings dispersion between 1983 and 1995. As part and parcel of the exercise, the effects of changes in the wage gap and the variance gap are also calculated. Detailed findings are provided by gender and broad sector, allowing for worker characteristics and the skill gradient. Deunionisation is shown to account for surprisingly little of the increase in earnings dispersion in the private sector for either males or females. Although union decline has been more muted in the public sector, union effects are actually stronger here. In the public sector, unions no longer reduce earnings variation as much they once did by virtue of their growing tendency to organise more skilled groups.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp724.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 724.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Research in Labor Economics, 2007, 26, 337-363
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp724
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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1980. "Unionism and the dispersion of wages," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(1), pages 3-23, October.
  2. Amanda Gosling & Thomas Lemieux, 2004. "Labor Market Reforms and Changes in Wage Inequality in the United Kingdom and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 275-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "How Much Has De-Unionisation Contributed to the Rise in Male Earnings Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 3826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. A Gosling & Stephen Machin, 1995. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0271, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. David Card & Thomas Lemieux & W. Craig Riddell, 2004. "Unions and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(4), pages 519-562, October.
  6. Machin, Stephen, 1997. "The decline of labour market institutions and the rise in wage inequality in Britain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 647-657, April.
  7. Bell, B. & Pitt, M.K., 1995. "Trade Union Decline and the Distribution of Wages in the UK: Evidence from Kernel Density Estimation," Economics Papers 107, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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