White Collar Unions, Blue Collar Unions and Wages in Manufacturing


This essay outlines the theory of an equilibrium wage differential
between white collar and blue collar labor in a closed labor market. It
then analyses the effect of unions of office workers and of plant workers
on this wage differential in order to estimate the potential effects of an
increase in the extent of unionism in the white collar sector. In addition
to discussing differences in wage behavior between white and blue collar
unions this study should also provide predictions about the degree to
which increasing unionization in offices will affect the attractiveness
of office work for new entrants to the labor force. Moreover, it may,
if we find that white collar unions have only slight wage effects, allay
the fears of employers about the potential of these unions for disrupting
customary wage relationships.

Year of Publication
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Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 24, No. 2, January 1971
Working Papers