The Impact of Deunionisation on Earnings Dispersion Revisited

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the effects of union change in Britain on changes in earnings dispersion 1983-1995. We investigate not only the decline in union density but also the greater wage compression among unionised workers, as well as changes in union density across skill groups. For the private sector, we find that deunionisation accounts for little of the increase in earnings dispersion. What unions have lost on the swings (lower density), they have gained on the roundabouts (greater wage compression). But for the public sector we find strong effects, because unions are increasingly organising the more skilled. This change in the character of public sector unions means that they no longer reduce earnings variation nearly as much as they once did.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAspects of Worker Well-Being
EditorsSolomon Polachek, Olivier Bargain
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameResearch in Labor Economics
ISSN (Print)0147-9121

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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