Earnings inequality had been rising in the United States since the late 1970s. However, at the level of individual states earnings inequality has been rising, stable, and even falling in some states at different points in time. States vary in both the degree and character of change in earnings inequality, the extent to which they have experienced various inequality-increasing developments, and their institutional capacity to mediate these developments. I argue in this dissertation that this variation offers a rich opportunity for comparative analysis and an excellent lens for exploring the dynamics of the recent rise in earnings inequality.
In this dissertation I utilize multiple methods and a state-level analysis to explore a number of research questions. What are the major factors driving rising state earnings inequality between 1980 and 2007? To what extent have states taken distinct causal paths to higher levels of inequality? How have states differed in terms of the types of wage growth that have result in rising, stable, or falling inequality? Throughout, special attention is paid to the manner in which state institutional arrangements, such as union strength and minimum wage rates, may mediate various inequality-increasing developments. Additionally, there is a focus on the contribution of industry flows, specifically losses of manufacturing employment and increasing employment in financial, technology and health-related occupations, to regional patterns of change in inequality.
Overall, the intensity, timing, and number of factors that have converged upon any particular state vary substantially between regions and over time. A broad finding of this dissertation is that the net impact of many inequality-increasing factors is contingent upon a state's economic condition and institutional character. In particular, state institutional arrangements have powerfully mediated the impact of various inequality-increasing developments. Also, these analyses suggest that industry shifts have substantially impacted state earnings distributions and are critical to understanding regional patterns of change in earnings inequality. In closing, I suggest that much research on rising inequality at the national-level does not fully capture the substantial diversity of state experiences with rising inequality or the complexity of the interactions between the various factors producing those distinct experiences.
|Commitee:||Kenworthy, Lane, Ragin, Charles, Schwartzman, Kathleen|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Sociology, Social structure|
|Keywords:||Earnings inequality, HLM, Inequality, Minimum wage, State-level, Stratification, Unions, United States|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be