Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

Second Advisor

Jasmine Kerrissey

Third Advisor

Joya Misra

Fourth Advisor

Lasse Folke Henriksen

Subject Categories

Inequality and Stratification | Work, Economy and Organizations


This is a three paper dissertation examining between-workplace and between-industry income inequality and their relations with changing labor market institutions and economic structures since roughly the early the 1990s. All three papers use large scale administrative linked employer-employee panel data (LEEP) for multiple years (roughly, 1993-2013) for a set of countries that span North America, Western and Eastern Europe, and East Asia. In the first chapter, I examine country differences in levels of between-workplace income inequality. Countries strongly vary in levels of between-workplace inequality. On the high end for example, over 60% of Germany’s income inequality occurs between workplaces. On the lower end, less than 30% of the Netherland’s income inequality occurs between workplaces. I use fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to identify institutional configurations that lead to high levels of between-workplace inequality. Ultimately, I find three distinct configurations, and that all three configurations are mainly composed of items related to labor union dynamics such as between-union conflicts, collective bargaining coverage, or union membership concentration. The second paper looks at trends in between-workplace inequality rather than levels. Recent evidence has shown that rising between-workplace inequality has become the dominant driver of rising income inequality, but less is known about the specific processes that have facilitated rising between-workplace inequality. I examine how labor union dynamics (e.g. declining union density), employment institutions (e.g. legal regulations around permanent and temporary work contracts), and economic structure (e.g. rising rates of globalization and the decline of the manufacturing sector) have impacted trends in between-workplace inequality. I find that many of these items significantly impact both between-workplace and within-workplace inequality, but that their effects tend to be stronger on between-workplace inequality. Finally, the last paper examines industry-level trends in low-wage work since the early 1990s for a set of European countries. Low-wage work has become increasingly important to study as income inequality has risen across much of Europe. Many European nations have likewise undergone significant shifts in their labor market institutions. Using earnings data from administrative sources, industry-level trends in the concentration of low-wage work since the mid-1990s are examined for six European countries (Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, Czechia, and Slovenia). Previous studies found that low-wage jobs were less common in core industries such as manufacturing and plentiful in service sector industries such as retail. These early findings are broadly confirmed here, but significant industry-level variation in levels and trends in low-wage work are found across these countries. Industry-level trends in low-wage work are related to industry-specific industrial relations.