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Shaefer and Edin's book ($2 a Day) cited in piece on political debate over plight of impoverished Americans

Eisenberg tracks factors affecting both mental health and athletic/academic performance among college athletes

Shapiro says Americans' low spending reflects "cruel lesson" about the dangers of debt

Highlights

Susan Murphy elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Maggie Levenstein named director of ISR's Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Arline Geronimus receives 2016 Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award

PSC spring 2016 newsletter: Kristin Seefeldt, Brady West, newly funded projects, ISR Runs for Bob, and more

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PSC Brown Bags
will resume fall 2016

psc brown bag iconUnions, Norms and the Rise in American Earnings Inequality

Bruce Western (Department of Sociology and Director of the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at the Kennedy School of Government;, Harvard University)

01/11/2010, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.

cosponsored by National Poverty Center, University of Michigan

[VIDEO]

From 1972 to 2006, union membership among U.S. men working full-time in private-sector jobs declined from 33 to less than 10 percent. Inequality in men’s hourly wages earnings increased by 40 percent in this same period. We study the effect deunionization on rising inequality, with a variance decomposition that accounts for how unions raise average earnings and also reduce inequality in earnings among union workers. Going beyond earlier research, we also argue, that unions reduce inequality by establishing norms for fair wages, reducing the dispersion of wages in the nonunion sector. Accounting for the effect of unions on the wages of union members and the effect of unions on nonunion wage norms suggests that union decline explains one third of the growth in inequality—an effect equal to the growing stratification of earnings by education.


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