The shift in private sector union participation: Explanations and effects

“The decline in union membership is economically important: unions lift wages, reduce inequality, and shape how work is organized, among other effects”

“The decline of union participation was an important driver of the increase in wage inequality and wage stagnation for some workers”

“In the mid- to late-20th century, labor unions helped to raise members’ wages, improve working conditions, and reduce inequality”

“Although the United States is not an outlier across advanced economies in experiencing deunionization, the U.S. decline was particularly dramatic. Understanding the reasons for and consequences of the decline is particularly important in an economy characterized by increasing inequality and stagnant wages for typical workers.”

By Ryan Nunn, Jimmy O’Donnell, and Jay Shambaugh

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