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Do Right to Work Laws Worsen Income Inequality? Evidence from the Last Five Decades

Abdul Munasib, Jeffrey Jordan (), Aparna Mathur and Devesh Roy ()

No 205341, 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California from Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Abstract: There is an ongoing debate about whether changes in labor regulations such as Right to Work (RTW) laws are contributing to the rising trend of income inequality in the U.S. We adopt Synthetic Control Method (SCM) for comparative case study to examine the impact of a state’s adoption of RTW law on its income inequality. We use a wide range of inequality measures for Idaho, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, states that enacted RTW between the 1960s and the 2000s. We find that RTW did not impact income inequality in these states. This result is underpinned by additional finding of a lack of impact of RTW on unionization and investment.

Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics; Labor and Human Capital; Political Economy; Public Economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-pbe
Date: 2015
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