The Impact of Unions on the Labor Market for White and Minority Youth

37 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2004 Last revised: 26 Sep 2010

See all articles by Harry J. Holzer

Harry J. Holzer

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: February 1981

Abstract

This paper presents estimates of the effects of unions on the wages of young black and white males who are both union and nonunion workers. It also presents estimates of union effects on employment for these groups, as well as their union membership rates. While unions have a very substantial, positive effect on the wages of young union workers, particularly for young blacks, they have a negative effect on the wages of young blacks who are not unionized. The effects of unions on employment are negative for both groups and especially for blacks. As for the relative access to unionized employment, young blacks within the labor force have membership rates that are roughly comparable to those of young whites. However, rates for young blacks appear to be somewhat lower after accounting for differences in rates of labor force participation between young blacks and whites. Young blacks also continue to be under-represented in the crafts and construction industries, which are heavily unionized, while being overrepresented in the relatively nonunionized, low-wage service sector. These results suggest that increasing the access of young blacks to unionized employment would improve their positions in the labor market.

Suggested Citation

Holzer, Harry J., The Impact of Unions on the Labor Market for White and Minority Youth (February 1981). NBER Working Paper No. w0633. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=275387

Harry J. Holzer (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI) ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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