Union Effects on Wages and the Workplace
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 3:15 PM – 5:15 PM
- Chair: Barry Hirsch, Georgia State University
Revisiting Union Wage Effects Using the Displaced Worker Surveys
AbstractEmpirical estimation of union wage effects in the U.S. has been challenged by the need to control for typically unobserved worker heterogeneity and endogenous job change. The biennial Displaced Workers Supplement files from the Current Population Survey arguably provide an opportunity to account for these challenges. Examining job switching among union and nonunion workers displaced by exogenous plant closings from 1994 (the first year in which the DWS recorded union status)through 2014, we examine employment transitions and wage changes between union and nonunion jobs. Consistent with early evidence from the DWS, our initial findings are that longitudinal estimates are roughly similar to standard cross-sectional evidence, suggesting minimal ability bias on average. Separate analyses by skill type based on observed skills indicate two-sided selection, with positive employer selection in the left tail and negative employee selection in the right tail. Pay compression observed in union jobs partly reflects compressed worker skills.
Union Decline and the Wages of Nonunion Workers
AbstractIt is widely recognized that unions increase relative wages for their members. But there is also robust evidence that labor markets in which unions are more highly organized have positive spillover effects on the wages of nonunion workers. In this paper, we show how the secular decline in private sector unionism has placed downward pressure on the wages of nonunion workers, leading to slower economy-wide wage growth and widening inequality.
- J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining