Wage Inequality and Labor Rights Violations

50 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2021

See all articles by Ioana Elena Marinescu

Ioana Elena Marinescu

University of Pennsylvania - School of Social Policy & Practice; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Yue Qiu

Temple University

Aaron Sojourner

University of Minnesota; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

Wage inequality does not fully capture differences in job quality. Jobs also differ along other key dimensions, including the prevalence of labor rights violations. We construct novel measures of labor violation rates using data from federal agencies. Within local industries over time, a 10% increase in the average wage is associated with a 0.15% decrease in the number of violations per employee and a 4% decrease in fines per dollar of pay. Reduced labor market concentration and increased union coverage rate are also associated with reductions in labor violations. Overall, labor violations are regressive: they increase inequality in job quality.

JEL Classification: J31, J83, J32, J33, J28, K31, K42

Suggested Citation

Marinescu, Ioana Elena and Qiu, Yue and Sojourner, Aaron J., Wage Inequality and Labor Rights Violations. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3789379 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3789379

Ioana Elena Marinescu (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - School of Social Policy & Practice ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Yue Qiu

Temple University

Aaron J. Sojourner

University of Minnesota ( email )

Carlson School of Management
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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