Unions and Gender Pay Equity in Academe: A Study of U.S. Institutions
Posted: 29 Oct 1998
This paper uses 1994-95 faculty salary data from over 1,100 four-year U.S. academic institutions, about one-fourth of them with collective bargaining agreements, to ask if faculty unions make a difference to gender pay equity. Average gender salary differences are negative at every rank and at every category of U.S. institution with or without collective bargaining agreement. Unions may improve gender salary differentials somewhat, particularly at the assistant professor level. There is no evidence that this gain will be lost at higher levels, and mixed evidence that further gains occur for women at the full professor level. The most pervasive and robust consequence of unions is to increase the positive impact that higher proportions of women at senior faculty ranks make on relative salaries at the assistant professor level. However, the influence of these higher-ranked women on gender salary inequalities at the associate and full levels is lower in union schools than nonunion schools. By reducing the flexibility of existing salary structures, collective bargaining apparently reduces the influence of senior women faculty on the salaries of current women faculty members while increasing their attention and influence at entry levels.
JEL Classification: J16, J51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation