NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Unionism and the Dispersion of Wages

Richard B. Freeman

NBER Working Paper No. 248 (Also Reprint No. r0114)
Issued in October 1978
NBER Program(s):   LS

This study examines the effect of trade unionism on the dispersion of wages among male wage and salary workers in the private sector in the United States. It finds that the application of union wage policies designed to standardize rates within and across establishments significantly reduces wage dispersion among workers covered by union contracts and that unions further reduce wage dispersion by narrowing the white-collar/blue-collar differential within establishments. These effects dominate the more widely studied impact of unionism on the dispersion of average wages across industries, so that on net unionism appears to reduce rather than increase wage dispersion or inequality in the United States.

download in pdf format
   (288 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (288 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0248

Published: Freeman, Richard B. "Unionism and the Dispersion of Wages." Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 34, No. 1, (October 1980), pp. 3-23. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Freeman w0292 The Effect of Trade Unionism on Fringe Benefits
Freeman and Medoff w0364 The Two Faces of Unionism
Matlack and Vigdor w12331 Do Rising Tides Lift All Prices? Income Inequality and Housing Affordability
Freeman w3826 How Much Has De-Unionisation Contributed to the Rise in Male Earnings Inequality?
Freeman w1207 Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us