Suresh Naidu

First name
Suresh
Last name
Naidu
Author
Abstract

This paper estimates the impacts of labor-mobility restrictions on job-transitions and wages in the
postbellum U.S. South. In particular, I estimate the effects of changes in criminal fines, collected from
BLS commission of labor reports, charged for "enticement" (offers made to workers already under contract)
on sharecropper mobility, tenancy choice, and agricultural wages. I present three different pieces
of evidence. The first is a retrospective work history panel of farmers from Jefferson County, Arkansas.
The second is a state-year panel, using USDA agricultural wages as a dependent variable. The third
is a cohort-state regression using the 1940 IPUMS census micro sample, estimating the effects of antienticement
laws on the returns to experience in agricultural labor. I find that a 10% increase in the fine
($13) charged for enticement a)lowered the probability of a move by black sharecroppers by 6 percentage
points, a 12% decline, and b) lowered agricultural wages, by reducing the exit probability to sharecropping,
by 0.11% (1 cent of daily wages), and c) lowered the returns to experience in agriculture for blacks
by 0.6% per year. These results are consistent with an on-the-job search model, where the enticement
fine raises the cost of offering a job to employed workers.
*

Year of Publication
2008
Number
544
Date Published
12/2008
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
7862
Naidu, S. (2008). Recruitment Restrictions and Labor Markets: Evidence from the Post-Bellum U. S. South. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp018910jt57r (Original work published 12/2008AD)
Working Papers
Abstract

It is well-documented that, since at least the early twentieth century, U.S. income inequality has varied inversely with union density. But moving beyond this aggregate relationship has proven difficult, in part because of the absence of micro-level data on union membership prior to 1973. We develop a new source of micro-data on union membership, opinion polls primarily from Gallup (N ≈ 980,000), to look at the effects
of unions on inequality from 1936 to the present. First, we present a new time series of household union membership from this period. Second, we use these data to show that, throughout this period, union density is inversely correlated with the relative skill of union members. When density was at its peak in the 1950s and 1960s, union members were relatively less-skilled, whereas today and in the pre-World War II period,
union members are equally skilled as non-members. Third, we estimate union household income premiums over this same period, finding that despite large changes in union density and selection, the premium holds steady, at roughly 15-20 log points, over the past eighty years. Finally, we present a number of direct results that, across a variety of identifying assumptions, suggest unions have had a significant, equalizing effect on
the income distribution over our long sample period.

Year of Publication
2018
Number
620
Date Published
05/2018
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
10516
Naidu, S., Farber, H., Kuziemko, I., & Herbst, D. (2018). Unions and Inequality Over the Twentieth Century: New Evidence from Survey Data. Retrieved from http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01gx41mm54w (Original work published 05/2018AD)
Working Papers