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Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 593–612 | Cite as

Have unions impeded growing wage dispersion among young workers?

  • Bernt Bratsberg
  • James F. Ragan
Article

Abstract

Wage inequality is examined for young males over the period 1980–1993. While wage inequality increased substantially for nonunion workers over this period, wage inequality increased only modestly for union workers. In part, this difference results from divergent trends in skill prices—returns to skill rose in the nonunion sector but contracted slightly in the union sector. In particular, returns to education increased sharply in the nonunion sector while remaining stagnant in the union sector. At least for young workers, these findings suggest that unions have been largely successful in resisting market pressures for greater wage inequality. We also uncover evidence suggesting that, as relative returns to education decline in the union sector, highly educated young workers become less likely to choose union employment.

Keywords

Young Worker Wage Inequality Union Wage Wage Distribution Union Sector 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernt Bratsberg
    • 1
  • James F. Ragan
    • 1
  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityManhattan

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