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Do Institutions Affect the Wage Structure? Right-to-Work Laws, Unionization, and the Minimum Wage


  • Oren M. Levin-Waldman


Union strength is capable of boosting wages for workers at the low end of the income scale. Even when differences in education and industry type are accounted for, workers in right-to-work states have a greater probability of earning close to the minimum wage than workers in states with relatively high union density. The decline of unionization requires that other labor market institutions, mainly the minimum wage, be used to improve the distribution of income in order to combat the continuing growth of inequality in the United States

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  • Oren M. Levin-Waldman, "undated". "Do Institutions Affect the Wage Structure? Right-to-Work Laws, Unionization, and the Minimum Wage," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_57, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:levppb:ppb_57

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1997. "Institutional Changes and Rising Wage Inequality: Is There a Linkage?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 75-96, Spring.
    2. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
    3. Coelho, Philip R P & Ghali, Moheb A, 1971. "The End of the North-South Wage Differential," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 932-937, December.
    4. John Kennan, 1995. "The Elusive Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1950-1965, December.
    5. Richard V. Burkhauser & T. Aldrich Finegan, 1989. "The minimum wage and the poor: The end of a relationship," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 53-71.
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