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Inequality and unionization within the United States

John Meszaros

The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 2018, vol. 67, issue C, 326-333

Abstract: Using data on U.S. state-level inequality from Frank, Sommeiller, Price, and Saez (2016) and state-level unionization data from Hirsch et al. (2001), this paper shows that unions have a negative impact on income inequality in U.S. states. In particular, higher rates of unionization decreased inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, the share of income accruing to the top 1% of earners, and the share of income accruing to the top 10% of earners. The findings are robust across several estimation methods and also when union coverage is used as an alternative to the percent of workers in unions.

Keywords: Labor unions; Labor institutions; Income inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J50 D31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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