Does Right-To-Work Work? Open Access

Varadi, Kimberly Anne (2015)

Permanent URL:


Using data from the 2013 American Community Survey, this paper examines the impact of right- to-work (RTW) constitutional amendments and statutes on the wages and employment of 1) those most susceptible to poverty: African Americans, Hispanics, and single mothers and 2) the two most unionized private sector industries: the utilities industry and transportation and warehousing industry. It also considers the policy's effect on state unemployment levels. For all demographic groups and industries considered, there is a statistically significant lower wage for employees in RTW states than in non-RTW states and statistically significant lower odds of employment for Hispanic and utilities workers. These findings hold true regardless of an individual's education level, work experience, hours worked per year, regional location, state unemployment rate, and state poverty rate. At the state level, right-to-work legislation had a statistically significant impact on reducing state unemployment rates in 2013, with the most decrease in unemployment in states with a RTW constitutional amendment.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Contributions 8

Literature Review 9

Theoretical Framework 14

Data and Empirical Strategy 18

Results 26

Discussion 30

Limitations 31

Conclusion 32

References 33

Appendix. 39

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files