Union Wage Determination in Canadian and U.S. Manufacturing, 1964-1990: A Comparative Analysis
INDUSTRIAL AND LABOR RELATIONS REVIEW, July 1996
Posted: 25 Jun 1998
The author analyzes nominal and real wage changes in unionized manufacturing firms in Canada and the United States over the years 1964-90. He finds more differences between the two countries' patterns of wage determination in the years 1964-79 than have commonly been recognized. In the 1980s, the structure of nominal wage determination changed more sharply in the United States than in Canada. Real wage determination changed little in the United States before 1986, at which point real wages began falling relative to what would have been predicted based on patterns of bargaining in earlier years. In Canada, real wages in the 1980s were significantlyhigher than they would have been if the previous patterns of wage determination had persisted. Both the nominal and real wage change results suggest that unions in U.S. manufacturing fared poorly in wage bargaining in the 1980s by comparison with their Canadian counterparts.
JEL Classification: J31, J51, L60
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation