Nathan Wilmers

Associate Professor
Sloan School of Management
MIT
wilmers@mit.edu
e62-338

CV

Publications

Work in Progress

Data and Code

Research Assistance

Google Scholar

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I am the Sarofim Family Career Development Associate Professor of Work and Organizations at MIT Sloan. I research wage and earnings inequality, economic sociology and the sociology of labor and am affiliated with the Institute for Work and Employment Research and the Economic Sociology program.

My research appears in Administrative Science Quarterly, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, ILR Review, Journal of Labor Economics, PNAS, and Social Forces. It has been covered in media outlets including Washington Post, BBC, Nature: Human Behavior, Wall Street Journal, Time, Nasdaq.com, Fox Business, Harvard Business Review, The Nation, Boston Business Journal, NPR, Business Insider, The Hill, The Boston Globe, NBC News, Financial Times, and CNBC.

Curriculum Vitae


Publications

Rapid Wage Growth at the Bottom Has Offset Rising US Inequality

(with Clem Aeppli)

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2022

Abstract (click to expand)

Ungated Preprint

Data and Code

Coverage: Business Insider, Time, Quartz

Economic Outcomes of Strikers in an Era of Weak Unions

(with Maxim Massenkoff)

Journal of Labor Economics, 2022

Abstract (click to expand)

Ungated Preprint

Data and Code

How Internal Hiring Affects Occcupational Stratification

(with William Kimball)

Social Forces, 2022

Abstract (click to expand)

Ungated Preprint

Data and Code

Awards: IPUMS CPS Award for Best Published Research, 2021

Wage Stagnation and the Decline of Standardized Pay Rates, 1974-1991

(with Maxim Massenkoff)

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2022

Abstract (click to expand)

Ungated Preprint

Data and Code

Awards: Best Paper Award, Academy of Management OMT Division, 2020.

Values and Inequality: How Pro-social Pay Discounts Offset the College Pay Premium

(with Letian Zhang)

American Sociological Review, 2022

Abstract (click to expand)

Ungated Preprint

Data and Code

Blacklist or Short List: Do Employers Discriminate Against Union Supporter Job Applicants?

(with Nicole Kreisberg)

ILR Review, 2022

Abstract (click to expand)

Data and Code

Consolidated Advantage: The New Organizational Dynamics of Wage Inequality

(with Clem Aeppli)

American Sociological Review, 2021

Abstract (click to expand)

Ungated Preprint

Data and Code

Job Turf or Variety: Task Structure as a Source of Organizational Inequality

Administrative Science Quarterly, 2021

Abstract (click to expand)

Data and Code

Awards: ASQ Dissertation Award, 2021, Finalist, Scholarly Achievement Award from the Human Resources Division of AOM, 2021

Solidarity Within and Across Workplaces: How Cross-Workplace Coordination Affects Earnings Inequality

RSF Journal of the Social Sciences, 2021

Abstract (click to expand)

Ungated Preprint

Data and Code

Do the Poor Pay More for Housing? Exploitation, Profit, and Risk in Rental Markets

(with Matthew Desmond)

American Journal of Sociology, 2021

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Wage Stagnation and Buyer Power: How Buyer-Supplier Relations Affect U.S. Workers’ Wages, 1978-2014

American Sociological Review, 2021

Abstract (click to expand)

Does Consumer Demand Reproduce Inequality? High-income Consumers, Vertical Differentiation and the Wage Structure

American Journal of Sociology, 2021

Abstract (click to expand)

Awards: Granovetter Award for Best Paper in Economic Sociology (ASA, 2018), Consumers and Consumption Graduate Student Award (ASA, 2017)

Labor Unions as Activist Organizations: A Union Power Approach to Estimating Union Wage Effects

Social Forces, 2021

Abstract (click to expand)


Work in Progress

Firms and the Intergenerational Transmission of Labor Market Advantage

(with Per Engzell)

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The Dynamics of Managerial Ideologies: Ideological Reorientation in the Transformation of Work, 1935-2005

(with Carly Knight)

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Network Ties as Obligations: How Family Hiring Affects Earnings Inequality

(with Per Lundborg)

Abstract (click to expand)

Between-firm Inequality and Informal Social Relations

(with Di Tong and Victoria Zhang)

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Does Democracy Pay? Determinants of Organizational Effectiveness in Labor Unions

(with Barry Eidlin)

Abstract (click to expand)


Data and Code

I prioritize research transparency, and have included links to all code and most data for my post-PhD published projects above. The exceptions are for data that is either proprietary (Glassdoor, Burning Glass) or restricted-use (Occupational Employment Statistics, Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics). In those cases, I include all build and analysis code, so researchers with data access can still build on our work.

Several of my projects have involved developing novel sources of wage and earnings data. I am flagging them here in hopes that other researchers will learn from them. The Wage-Fixing Authority Survey data from 1974 to 1991 include job-level wage data from 60,000 (identified, often repeated panel) employers of blue collar workers. The Employer Expenditures for Employee Compensation data from 1968 to 1977 include data on pay and detailed benefits information for white and blue collar workers at the establishment level. The OLMS employee and officer data have labor union employees' pay, work activities and job titles (also available from OLMS directly, but with a series of database errors fixed by my cleaning code).

One more resource is our detailed guide (and code/data) to conducting an employer audit study, developed with Nicole Kreisberg. We found that we were making a lot of decisions in the course of our audit that weren't explicitly reported in prior published studies; we hope the detailed reporting in our article and this guide will help future perplexed auditors.


Research Assistance

I advise doctoral students in the MIT Sloan PhD programs of the Institute for Work and Employment Research and Economic Sociology and have collaborated with PhD students elsewhere (particularly other Boston institutions). I also have periodic need for part-time and full-time pre-doctoral research assistants and for postdoctoral researchers. If you are interested in labor markets and inequality, email me and we can see if there is a project to collaborate on.


Website: Design by Xinyue Lin, via Gautam Rao and Maxim Massenkoff.