Manufacturing Wage Inequality in the Appalachian Region: 1963–1992

Author(s): James K. Galbraith
Author Organization(s): University of Texas

This study examines the inequality in manufacturing pay between manufacturing plants within states and counties of the United States, and compares these trends with those in Appalachia over the 1963 to 1992 period. For comparative purposes the analysis of manufacturing pay inequality proceeds from the national, to the state and county level, to the regional level. Overall the study finds that during prosperous times such as 1963-67, the preponderance of counties experienced rising wages and falling inequality. In tougher times, such as 1977-82, falling wages and rising inequality predominate. In the1983 to 1992 period, the regional trend toward widening inequality of pay mirrored the national pattern. Data are drawn from the non-public tabulations of the Longitudinal Research Database of the Bureau of the Census. Readers should note that more recent longitudinal data covering the last half of the 1990s only became available for special tabulations in 2003.