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THE RISE AND FALL OF UNIONS IN THE U.S

Emin Dinlersoz () and Jeremy Greenwood

Working Papers from U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Economic Studies

Abstract: Union membership in U.S. displayed a n-shaped pattern over the 20th century, while in- come inequality sketched a ?. A model of unions is developed to analyze this phenomenon. There is a distribution of productivity across firms in the economy. Firms hire capital, plus skilled and unskilled labor. Unionization is a costly process. A union chooses how many firms to organize and the union wage. Simulation of the model establishes that skill-biased technological change, which a?ects the productivity of skilled labor relative to unskilled labor, can potentially explain the above facts. Statistical analysis suggests that skill-biased technological change is an important factor in deunionization.

Keywords: Distribution of Income; Flexible Manufacturing; Income Inequality; Mass Production; Numerically Controlled Machines; Relative Price of New Equipment; Skill-Biased Technological Change; Simulation Analysis; Union Coverage; Union Membership; De-unionization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J51 J24 L23 L11 L16 O14 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-cmp, nep-dge, nep-his, nep-hme and nep-lab
Date: 2012-06, Revised 2013-06
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2012/CES-WP-12-12R.pdf Revised version, 2013 (application/pdf)
https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2012/CES-WP-12-12.pdf First version, 2012 (application/pdf)

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Working Paper: The Rise and Fall of Unions in the U.S (2012) Downloads
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