Unions, managers and monopolies: how concentration and managerial power contribute to rising wage inequality

Project Summary:

The extent to which income inequality can be traced to shifts in the distribution of rents and/or to declines of workers’ share of those rents is an open and important question, one that researchers have had difficulty answering due to data limitations. This research will link multiple administrative datasets to assess how concentration in managerial power contributes to rising wage inequality. The research will make an important contribution to our understanding of the larger forces generating income inequality—specifically, how corporate decision-making that fuels market concentration may also fuel income inequality


Nathan Wilmers is a PhD candidate in Harvard's sociology department researching wage and earnings inequality, economic sociology, and the sociology of labor. His current research draws on economic sociology and provides new evidence on the distributional effects of supply chain restructuring, rising project market concentration and skill segregation across firms. He is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a fellow in the Inequality and Social Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, and an affiliate of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. His research appears in the American Journal of Sociology and Social Forces, and has been covered in The Washington Post, NBC News and CNBC.