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The Union Wage Premium in the US and the UK

David Blanchflower () and Alex Bryson ()

CEP Discussion Papers from Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

Abstract: This paper presents evidence of both counter-cyclical and secular decline in the union membership wage premiu m inthe US and the UK over the last couple of decades. The premium has fallen for most groups of workers, the mainexception being public sector workers in the US. By the beginning of the 21st Century the premium remainedsubstantial in the US but there was no premium for many workers in the UK. Industry, state and occupation-levelanalyses for the US identify upward as well as downward movement in the premium characterized by regression tothe mean. Using linked employer-employee data for Britain we show estimates of the membership premium tend tobe upwardly biased where rich employer data are absent and that OLS estimates are higher than those obtained withpropensity score matching.

Keywords: union; membership; wage; premium. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J51 J52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-lab and nep-ltv
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