Publication Date

10-26-2021

Award Type

Winner

Dissertation Advisor

Lawrence Katz and Lawrence Summers

Abstract

Workers’ pay and working conditions can be determined not just by the productivity of their labor, but also by power and institutions. In my dissertation, I examine three aspects of power and institutions in the U.S. and U.K. labor markets: 1) the wage effects of employer concentration and worker outside options in the United States, 2) the decline of worker power and its macroeconomic implications in the United States, and 3) minimum wage compliance and enforcement in the United States and United Kingdom. Overall, the three essays underscore the importance of labor market power and institutions in the determination of wages—particularly for low- and middle-income workers. In this summary, I describe each essay in more detail and conclude with a discussion of the policy implications.

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